Over two decades ago a small group of people united together with one vision – to create Ireland’s largest ever purpose built arts centre. Today this vision is a reality.
Excellence, Access and Participation
The purpose of Draíocht is to be a centre of excellence for performance and visual arts: to encourage a greater understanding of both traditional and innovative arts practice: to promote participation in all aspects of performance and visual arts: to embrace the local, extended, national and international community.
Draíocht was officially opened on 3 May 2001 by President Mary McAleese, attracting over 600 guests.
President of Ireland, Mary McAleese:
'The Draíocht story is a truly inspirational one. It is the story of a small local committee who together conceived the idea of creating a major venue for the arts here in Blanchardstown ... The people of Blanchardstown and surrounding areas, and the wider artistic and business communities embraced and recognised in this idea something so worthwhile that they were prepared to commit to it ... This centre is one of the most ambitious and significant of its kind to be built in this country. It will accommodate both professional and amateur work in every imaginable artistic field, from drama and dance to poetry and puppetry. It will offer a comprehensive programme of courses, lectures, workshops and participative activities for people of all ages and interests ... Today is a day for all involved in this project to take pride in their achievement, for the people of Blanchardstown, Fingal and beyond to celebrate the arrival of the Draíocht Centre. Now all that remains is for the magic and the enchantment to begin and for this place to cast its spell over the coming years.'
(Remarks by President McAleese, at the official opening of Draíocht, Thursday 3 May 2001.)
Draíocht is a multi-purpose venue used for a broad range of activities, including drama (both professional and community), dance, contemporary visual arts and crafts, classical and traditional music, a programme of activities for families, children and older people, comedy, artists in residence schemes, community outreach and education projects, and much more.
Among the many groups who use the facilities and services of the centre are local arts groups, drama clubs, schools, community groups, theatre goers and those interested in the arts, the general public and, of course, local, national and international artists and performers.
The space comprises two theatre spaces. The first is a flexible space, with one of the largest stages in Ireland, which can accommodate 286 people seated or 500 people standing. The second theatre space is a 92-seat studio theatre. Draíocht also boasts two gallery spaces and a self-contained artist's studio. The space is completed with extensive backstage facilities, a bar/cafe area and a rehearsal/meeting room.