Benefit concert to support restoration of Begley family home

Just days before the remarkable documentary, The Man with the Moving House – outlining musician, Breanndán Begley’s fight for the right to build a house on his own land in the Dingle peninsula – was broadcast on RTÉ 1 television, the Begley family’s ‘ancestral home’ – occupied by his sister, Eibhlín, was destroyed by fire.

While fortunately no-one came to any physical harm, the devastation to the property has been substantial. To support Eibhlín with current living expenses and future rebuilding costs, a fundraising concert is being organised at St. Mary’s Church, Dingle, on Friday September 30.

While the line-up of performers will be confirmed shortly, tickets for the concert are now available through eventbrite.ie at https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/fund-raising-concert-for-eibhlin-ni-bheaglaoich-tickets-413682624867?aff=ebdssbdestsearch

For people who cannot attend the concert but wish to support the fund-raising campaign, the family have set up a special email address – begleyconcert@gmail.com – where they will receive suggestions on how to help.

Eibhlín’s nephew, the concertina virtuoso, Cormac Begley, said that the family are “very grateful for all the messages of support to each of us over the past few weeks.”

The Man with the Moving House outlines Breanndán Begley’s fifteen-year campaign for the right to build a small traditional home in his ancestral village within the much broader context of the preservation of culture, music, heritage and language.

Begley argues that the unique character of local communities is being lost when local people can no longer afford to buy houses that are being snapped up for holiday homes, or to secure planning permission in their native place.

As the documentary develops, Begley looks beyond Dingle to engage with communities in Conamara, An Rinn and Donegal as well as Brittany and the Scottish highlands. After connecting through music, he discovers that the people of the Kerry Gaeltacht are not alone in having to face the adverse consequences of planning decisions on culture, language and place.

Breanndán Begley with this 'moving' house – constructed on a trailer – after Kerry County Council refused him permission to build a permanent dwelling. Eventually, after a fifteen-year campaign, his appeal to An Bord Pleanála was successful. (Photo: RTÉ)
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