‘The Waking of Brian Boru Community Project’ ‘The Waking of Brian Boru’ was a community project which offered local people of all ages and abilities in Armagh an opportunity to reflect upon and engage with the one thousand year anniversary of Brian Boru’s death this year. Initial discussions between creative practitioner Dr Sally Walmsley of SoundMór and local people raised questions as to why Brian Boru was even buried in Armagh, and so it was decided to hold an event to encourage people to think who Brian Boru was and why Armagh was so important to him. A series of music performance workshops was held in local institutions, all of which contributed to the project through the active involvement and knowledge-sharing by representatives from Armagh County Museum, Armagh Observatory, Armagh Public Library and No 5. The work was carried out with three groups; one made up of primary school pupils from the seven primary schools in the City of Armagh; another of students from the Drumming Department of Lisanally Special School and from the Drama Department at St Catherine’s College, Armagh; and the third of representatives from local community groups, including Armagh’s U3A, Armagh Men’s Shed, the local unemployed group, visually impaired and deaf impaired groups, and the autism group. All came together to create a community-inspired performance on the Hill of Armagh in St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral on Thursday 1 and Friday 2 May 2014. Brian Boru was killed after the Battle of Clontarf on 23 April 2014 and was buried in Armagh after a twelve-day wake. The performance piece on the Hill of Armagh was a reflective multi-media performance which marked the one thousandth anniversary of his final arrival in Armagh for his wake and burial. Funded by Armagh City and District Council and managed by Armagh Public Library, the ‘Waking of Brian Boru’ project involved some 250 residents of Armagh, and had audiences of approximately 250 each night. Jill McEneaney, Theatre Director at the Marketplace Theatre, Armagh and the representative of the funder, Armagh City and District Council said: ‘I wanted to tell you how wonderful I thought the performance was on Thursday. It was such a delight to see so many talented local people from all walks of life coming together in one performance to tell such an extraordinary story. Really very moving. The enthusiasm of the participants was palpable and the way each told their part of the story in their own way was an inspiration. Thank you so much for bringing the project to us and please convey my thanks and congratulations to all involved, especially to Sally who worked hundreds of little miracles to bring together one amazing piece of theatre’. Comments from some of the performers included: ‘It was a privilege to be involved in this’. ‘Very emotional’. ‘I never thought that I would perform in public in this way to this size of audience’.