Aula Maxima, Maynooth

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Aula Maxima is a theatre building in Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland. It was built in 1893.[1]

Aula Maxima comes from Latin, meaning Great Hall.[2] The building is also known simply as "The Aula". It is situated on the South Campus of the National University of Ireland, Maynooth and St Patrick's College, Maynooth and is the main theatre for the university, college and surrounding area. It also serves as the conferring hall of the university. The Aula was also used as a Cinema for the students in the College, with the Maynooth Students Union screening films there.

Aula Maxima is known for its historical importance, and famed for its many ghost stories and apparent ghostly sightings.


Right Rev. Mgr. McMahon of the The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC originally gifted the theatre to St Patrick's College, his alma mater,[3][4] and its construction was completed under the presidency of Bishop Robert Brown.[citation needed]

Aula Maxima houses a projection box, which was in regular use for 40 years.

Dramatic performances[edit]

NUI Maynooth's Drama Society (also known as The Roscian Players) is the resident company of Aula Maxima. A wide variety of their productions staged therein. It also regularly sees performances by St Patrick's College's dramatic society, NUI Maynooth Chamber Orchestra[5] and Maynooth Community Players:[6]





  1. Berkoff's Lunch
  2. Durang's An Actor's Nightmare
  3. Chekov's The Bear
  4. Barnes's Nobody Here But Us Chickens
  5. Yeats's Purgatory
  6. Stoppard's 15 Minute Hamlet
  7. Duplicit (student-written)




  • First Timers' Festival featuring performances of: The Bear, Riders To The Sea, Living With Secrets (Student Written), Over The Rainbow (part-student written), God Has Arrived, Cocaine, Cahoot's Macbeth, Bar And Ger
  • One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
  • The Mercy Seat (Neil La Bute)



Folklore and the Aula Ghost[edit]

There are numerous stories detailing the presence of a ghost in Aula Maxima. Simply known as the Aula Ghost, he is reputed to be the spirit of a projectionist, active in Maynooth in the 1940s. The projectionist was a seminarian and member of St Patrick's College who fell to his death from the projectionist's box in Aula Maxima.[citation needed] Many superstitions exist regarding treatment of Aula Maxima and the Aula Ghost. One such superstition centres on the ghost's apparent turning of a chair placed over the projection box to face away from the stage if he does not like a performance, or the manner in which the staging of the performance was conducted.[citation needed]

See also[edit]