Almost 30 years after the nation was gripped with the phenomenon of moving statues, they have been resurrected for the 16th Terryglass Arts Festival! Produced by the Rural Vernacular Company, Gerry Conneely’s side splitting satirical comedy ‘The Year of the Moving Statues’ will be performed in Terryglass Hall on Thursday 14th August at 8pm.

The comedy captures the madness and excitement of that summer in 1985 when the country’s grottos began to move en mass. From Ballinspittal to Ballydehob and from Blanchardstown to Bohola there was shaking and shuddering and weeping and lamentation. Ireland was transfixed and tens of thousands took to the roads, in pouring rain and driving wind to witness the supernatural spectacle.

The play is set in a pub in Ardbo, somewhere in the rural fastness of South Galway, not far from Gort. The atmosphere is tense in Tom Molloys Bar as the summer runs by with no relief from the falling rain. By mid July Ardbo is in a state of desperation as it becomes apparent that the hay cannot be saved. Nine weeks of heavy rain has decimated the crop and a fearful anxiety takes possession of the denizens of this rural public house.

Into this scene of desolation come a couple of elderly Americans with a peculiar mission of their own. With a penchant for hard liquor and psychical phenomena, the Yanks attempt to interpret the strange forces at work in the country and, to identify, where these forces might be leading.

Festival Chairperson Andrea Egan says “the play is stunning insight into 1980s Ireland, and offers a vivid take on the Irish attitude to authority, responsibility, self determination and particularly to religion.”

The production for Terryglass features the playwright Gerry Conneely himself as the publican and Iggy Bownes and Colmcille Donnelly as his two sidekicks. The two Yanks are played by American actors Anna O Donnell and Gary Hetzler and the Virgin Mary by Hanna O Donnell. A master storyteller, Gerry Conneely has excellent comic timing, a keen ability to observe human interaction and to elevate the common place to the mythical.

Early booking is advisable to avoid disappointment due to an anticipated demand for tickets. Tickets cost €10 and are available to purchase now from The Derg Inn Shop, Terryglass or phone 087-2181663. Tickets will also be available from Mid July on-line at For further information, please contact Terryglass Arts Festival by email at

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