Episode 2: Luggala Lodge

Luggala Lodge in Co. Wicklow sits in a valley of spectacular beauty and is set against the breathtaking scenery of this ancient Wicklow valley. This legendary house has entertained and inspired royalty, musicians, poets and artists.

Manchán Magan is invited to Garech De Brún’s exquisite gothic revival lodge in Luggala Co Wicklow. The house is tucked away in a magical valley, 6,000 acres of breathtaking natural beauty. Luggala House has stood in the valley for 220 years since it was first built by the La Touche family in 1783. The house was bought by Lord Powerscourt in the 1860s and then, in 1937, sold to Ernest Guinness. It is his grandson, the honourable, Garech De Brún who lives here today. Garech’s mother, Oonagh Guinness, one of the famous three Guinness sister. She held court in luggala attracting some of the most famous names in Ireland including Samuel Beckett, Brendan Behan and Mick Jagger. Garech took on the roll of Lord of the Manor himself as soon as he was old enough and has continued to attract a whole host of interesting characters to the valley since. On his journey into the history of Luggala Lodge – Manchán investigates a piece of music that was re-arranged by composer Freddie May for Garech called ‘Luggla’ and finds there are seven variations of the same tune – the first one dating as far back as 1780. Manchán meets Garech’s neighbour Paddy Moloney who tells him how Garech and Luggala Lodge were instrumental in forming ‘The Chieftains’ and Claddagh Records. Outside in the grounds, writer Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, receites her poem “In the Great House of Ian Breaic” – which was inspired by Luggala Lodge following an invite from Garech to come down to a party. And in the Shelbourne Horseshoe Bar – Manchán has a glass of wine with the great Irish poet John Montague. John recalls the story of how one of the greatest Irish musicians to have ever lived – Sean Ó Riada – made his last recording ever on the legendary harpsichord in Luggala. For hundreds of years Luggala has inspired great music, poetry, painting and song and Garech De Brún has played his own extraordinary role in the process, and who knows what other amazing art may be born yet from this inspirational house in years to come.

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