Galway pub transforms into the Bastille for two days

Bar marks historic links between Galway and France as artist proves art is rubbish

A Galway pub has been transformed into the Bastille for the next two days to mark France’s national holiday.

Tigh Neachtain's bar is staging the two-day celebration of all things French to mark historic links between Galway and France.

Vive la Révolution involves spontaneous theatrical performances at 3.15pm and 5pm on Thursday and Friday by the Galway Whispers Revolution project, featuring Seamus Hughes and Rod Goodall.

Hughes and Páraic Breathnach staged a similar event in Galway during the 1916 centenary commemorations in March.


Tigh Neachtain owner Jimmy Maguire said the pub was once the townhouse of the 18th-century MP and animal rights activist Richard "Humanity Dick" Martin, who met Napoleon Bonaparte through his involvement with the Irish Volunteers.

Mr Maguire said the informal theatrical event was coinciding with, rather than being a part of, the Galway International Arts Festival and the Galway Fringe.

A one-man show about Martin, entitled Humanity Dick: A Tale of Beasts and Bullets, is also taking place this week in the Busker Browne’s Theatre as part of the Galway Fringe.

Art is rubbish

Meanwhile, a Barcelona artist is seizing on all sorts of street rubbish to create monsters and other beings as part of the arts festival programme.

Francisco de Pajaro has created “pop-up” public sculptures using an “Art is Trash” theme.

De Pajaro believes he can reach more people through this type of work than if he was exhibiting in a gallery.

He has received assistance with his material from a Galway waste company.

The Galway International Arts Festival and Galway Fringe continue for the next 10 days, with a free circus spectacle in Eyre Square this weekend by French company Les P’Tits Bras, entitled The Scent of Sawdust.

Derry band The Undertones will perform with Elvis Costello and The Imposters in the festival big top overlooking the Corrib on Friday night.

Lorna Siggins

Lorna Siggins

Lorna Siggins is the former western and marine correspondent of The Irish Times