Tyrone Guthrie Centre
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The house was the family home of theatrical director Sir Tyrone Guthrie, and it was his will that it be used as a retreat. His will read that he would leave:
- ...my said dwelling-house, furniture, pictures and chattels and the income of my residuary estate to be used for the purpose of providing a retreat for artists and other like persons ... so as to enable them to do or facilitate them in doing creative work.
The house has since hosted people such as Michael Harding, Loreena Mckennitt, Oonagh Kearney, Derval Symes, Page Allen, Roisin Meaney, Anne Rigney, Gemma Browne, Colette Bryce, Phil Coulter, Brian Kennedy, Mary Dorcey, Nuala Ní Chonchúir and Peter McCann.
International authors have also completed residencies at the Centre, assisting them to complete or polish existing writing projects, going on to great success. These have included Australian authors Luke Davies and Linda Jaivin and British author Bella Pollen.
The first Director was Bernard Loughlin [1981-1999], succeeded by Regina Doyle Acting DIrector (1999 - 2001) Sheila Pratschke [2001 2007], Pat Donlon [2007-2010] and now Robbie McDonald [since 2010].
The centre is a residential workplace open to professional practitioners in all art forms. Creative residencies (or artistic retreats ) are for maximum periods of three months in the Big House and six months in the Farmyard Cottages.
In a tranquil, beautiful setting amid the lakes and drumlins of County Monaghan, everything the eye can see is private in the gated 500-acre (2.0 km2) fully wooded estate. In the 'Big House' (as it is affectionately known) everything is provided for, including delicious food much of which comes from their own organic gardens. The dinner each evening at 7 is always a buzz of chat and discussion that is a welcome interruption to the strong creative work vibe that surrounds the centre. Each bedroom includes, writing desk and a chair and has its own charm and character with a selection of books, paintings and a view. Ten of the rooms have en-suite bathrooms and most have fireplaces. Linen and towels are provided.
Up to seven can stay in the 5 self-catering cottages all of which have a small easily lit stove to supplement the comfort and warmth. Eight well light warm studio spaces are also available along with a performance/dance space opened in 2006.