Press Release

Turning of the Sod for the new Solas Bhride Centre and Hermitages, Tully, Kildare Town February 15th, 2013

(Dedicated to St. Brigid of Kildare, Patroness of Ireland)

turningthesodThe commencement of construction of the new Solas Bhride Spirituality Centre and Hermitages in Tully, Kildare town, was marked today, February 15th, 2013, by an official turning of the sod ceremony, by Rita Minehan, Brigidine Sister and overall Co-ordinator of the Project, alongside the Finance Committee the Project Team, Brigidine sisters and the local community. Also in attendance were Mr. Michael Malone, County Manager, Mr. Chris Byrne, Chairperson Kildare Leader Partnership and other public representatives.

The ceremony was marked by music and the weaving of a St. Brigid’s cross into which was woven a flavour of the history of the project and words of gratitude for those involved. The cross will be placed in the foundations of the new building. This was followed by a blessing of the site.

The new Solas Bhride Centre and Hermitages, which is expected to attract over 15,000 pilgrims to the area by 2015, “will be a wonderful facility for the people of Kildare and the many pilgrims/visitors who come from all over the world,” said Ann Riordan, member of the Development Team.

The vision of the Centre which is “to unfold the legacy of St. Brigid of Kildare and its increasing relevance for our world” is a continuation of the work of the small Brigidine community in Dara Park, Kildare town.

The Solas Bhride Centre and Hermitages will cost €4 million of which, 80% has already being raised. The fundraising will continue during construction. “Fundraising is extremely difficult at this time,” said Sr. Phil O’Shea, “when many people are hurt by the recession. However, we trust and believe in miracles!”

Solas Bhride Centre and Hermitages will have:brigidcross

  • • Reception and exhibition space
  • • Conference room
  • • Four self-catering hermitages
  • • Spirituality education and library area
  • • Hospitality room
  • • Chapel / prayer room
  • • Spiritual accompanying / counselling room
  • • Meeting room
  • • Residential facilities for two staff members
  • • Ancillary service and utility spaces

Background Information

constructionteamThe Brigidine Sisters, set up a small Christian Centre for Celtic Spirituality in a house in Kildare town in 1992. The Centre has become a popular destination for the many pilgrims and visitors, local, national and international, interested in the traditions, values and customs associated with Brigid of Kildare.

The growth in numbers of pilgrims/visitors each year has created an urgent need for a larger centre and hermitages.

In response to this demand, the Brigidine Sisters, purchased a site in 2007, secured Planning Permission in 2009 and created a €4.00 million Development Plan for a unique ecologically sustainable Centre and Hermitages.

A Development Team including men and women from Kildare and beyond has worked in partnership with the sisters in designing and promoting the new Centre and Hermitage.