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One man’s Shell to Sea struggle in the Glens

Leitrim Observer

 Following a sell out run in Dublin, Donal O’Kelly brings his highly acclaimed one man play based on the Shell to Sea struggle to The Glens Centre, Manorhamilton on Friday and Saturday, February 1 & 2 at 8.30pm.


Benbo Productions presents Ailliliú Fionnuala, written and performed by Donal O’Kelly, directed by Sorcha Fox and designed by Robert Ballagh.

Ailliliú Fionnuala takes place on the shore of Sruwaddaconn Estuary in Erris, North Mayo, where the Shell high-pressure raw gas pipeline is currently under construction.

Ambrose Keogh works for Shell. When the Tunnel Boring Machine he named Fionnuala sinks into the bog in Erris Co. Mayo, he is magically confronted by Fionnuala of the Children of Lir. Fionnuala puts a geas on him – he’s bound to tell the truth about Shell’s operations in Erris, such as the attack on Willie Corduff in the Shell site at Glengad.

During his ordeal, Ambrose comes face to face with his primary school classmate, Malachy Downes, now an anti-pipeline activist, and echoes from the past resound. Ambrose Keogh was the silent minion in Donal O’Kelly’s international success Bat The Father Rabbit The Son, premiered by Rough Magic in 1988, and touring to acclaim in Edinburgh, New York and Australia.

A quarter of a century later, Keogh’s found his niche in the corridors of power, at the heart of the Shell/Corrib gas project.

A writer and actor, Donal O’Kelly’s previous award-winning solo plays include Catalpa, Joyced! and Bat The Father Rabbit The Son. Other plays include The Cambria, Jimmy Gralton’s Dancehall, The Adventures Of The Wet Señor, Vive La, Operation Easter, Asylum! Asylum! and The Dogs.

There will be post show discussions on both nights with Goldman Environmental prize-winner and Rossport resident Willie Corduff on Friday and Ailliliú director Sorcha Fox on comparisons between Shell Corrib and fracking plans in north Leitrim on Saturday.

This project has been supported by the justice and human rights organisation Afri.

For bookings, contact the Glens on 071 98 55833 or online at

Posted Date: 
1 February 2013