Imagine Day 3: Susan O’Neill Wowed the Crowd at Christ Church Cathedral

The highlight of Day 3 of the Imagine Arts Festival was the Susan O’Neill gig. With her multitude of musical instruments and her amazing voice, Susan and her band wowed the packed venue last night in Christ Church Cathedral.

Day 3 started with a really informative talk and tour of the Masonic Lodge on Waterside as part of the Imagine festival’s Behind Closed Doors series. As well as a tour of the building, our hosts for the morning, Marcus and Eric, chatted about freemasonry in Waterford and the wonderful charity work they do.

Behind Closed Doors: Masonic Lodge Tour

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Freemasonry in Waterford dates back to at least 1757 and is one of the world’s oldest traditional and fraternal organisations. It has three main focuses; fraternity and friendship between all its members, charitable relief to those in need, and preserving its traditions and customs at their Lodge gatherings. The audience learned about all the charity work the masons do in Ireland…as well as locally…helping out organisations such as Teddies For Loving Care (TLC), which donates teddies to the children in Waterford University Hospital. They also help the Rape Crisis Centre and Children’s Grouplink.

The Possession Project

Next up on the agenda was The Possession Project, performed in the Chorister’s Hall of Waterford Museum of Treasures. The staff and students from South East Technological University (SETU) joined internationally renowned performance artist Amanda Coogan, and artists and theatre makers Alvean Jones and Lianne Quigley, to share their interpretation of Waterford playwright Teresa Deevy’s little-known ballet, Possession.

The audience were guided through this brilliant production beginning at the reception of Waterford Museum of Treasures, and brought down to the atmospheric Choristers’ Hall, the performance space, for the 50-minute-long production. The play dramatised the Cattle Raid of Cooley with the focus on Queen Maeve’s perspective throughout.

Park and Courthouse Tour by Joe Falvey

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The Park and Courthouse evening event was presented by local historian Joe Falvey. The talk focused on the history of the People’s Park and its environs with a particular reference to the adjacent Courthouse as well as to the establishment of its local schools and more besides.

Susan O’Neill at Christ Church Cathedral

Last but certainly not least on the schedule for day 3 was Susan O’Neill. This multi-talented musician had the packed audience enthralled throughout the gig in Christ Church Cathedral. Speaking to her afterwards, she was delighted to be back in Waterford—a place she knows well having studied at WIT…and staying in the city for a few years after she finished college. At one point on stage, with guitar in hand, she gave a nod to John Palmer who she had bought the instrument from.

She was also blown away by the venue. It really is a cool place for a gig.  

Susan has spent the last few years honing her craft as a solo performer—and honed it is. It was awesome! 


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