Lee Valley Enterprise Board created this website to promote all aspects of the town of Macroom and the beautiful Lee Valley in which it lies. Here you will find information about the business and enterprises of the area, the schools and clubs that provide education and recreation for its people and news of the people themselves in the Lee Valley Outlook pages.
Fire engines at the Briery Gap on Saturday morning, May 28 . ©Lee Valley Outlook
The fire in the Briery Gap on the morning of Saturday, May 28 and its potential closure for a year comes as a reality check for everyone in the Lee Valley who uses the facility. We take much for granted and don't realise how important it is until it is taken from us. Over the past 16 years, the Briery Gap has developed a level of service that we only now appreciate in its absence.
We had weekly films on our doorstep, including current box office hits and the classics, at a minimal cost. The annual panto and musical provided opportunities for actors, singers, musicians, comedians as well as top class entertainment for audiences. The annual Transition Year Drama and Light Entertainment festivals drew hundreds of students and teachers from all corners of Ireland every spring, putting Macroom firmly on the arts, entertainment and tourist map.
The Briery Gap brought big stars to Macroom – Christy Moore, Jimmy McCarthy, Rebecca Storm et al. It hosted, encouraged and supported many dramatic groups. Youth Theatre and Choral groups were further elements of an ever-evolving, enterprising management, seeking to survive and grow in a very difficult business, while providing cultural experience and top class entertainment.
The Briery Gap is the brainchild of a number of Lee Valley visionaries, among them Anne Dunne. Even before it was a dream, Anne was writing, producing and directing shows in the Lee Valley. In fact, it was the Lee Valley Entertainment Group's win in a radio competition on the Gay Byrne morning show that provided the seed money, £10,000, in 1994. With the help and financial support of Cork County Council, Macroom U.D.C. and many other sponsors, the Briery Gap became a reality in 2000 as part of a cultural centre that included the library. Anne Dunne was appointed theatre manager.
It was scary, eerie and so unfortunate that the Briery Gap fire should happen on the morning of the funeral of Con Dunne. Con – farmer, historian, community activist, G.A.A. enthusiast – was loyal, devout, unassuming, intelligent, stalwart, kind, unselfish and much more. Go raibh aige leaba i measc na Naomh and may he continue to give Anne his support and inspiration in the challenges that lie ahead.
Watch this space as film screening venues will be announced shortly on our website, www.brierygap.ie, as well as Facebook and Twitter.