Strabane BID Company was set up in 2016 to increase the prosperity of Strabane town by delivering a programme of events and supports to encourage people to live, shop and visit the town. This is delivered via three strands – supporting local businesses, accessing finance and delivering an arts and culture calendar of events for the town. In addition to supporting local musicians and artists through our annual festivals and events, it was recognised that further development was needed on the literary tourism offering. Strabane has a rich culture of poets and literary greats, including the greatly talented and globally celebrated Flann O’Brien and the Strabane BID wanted to celebrate his work and showcase his heritage.
With support from the Spot-lit project, a programme of events will be developed to celebrate Flann O’Brien and his work. This project has the potential to become a very significant cultural tourism product for Strabane as Brian O’Nolan / Flann O’Brien / Myles Na Gcopaleen is a literary figure of international renown and his birth place originates within the Bowling Green Square of Strabane Town. It is envisaged that the project programme will be launched in October as this is the month of Brian O’Nolans birth and will be hosted in various venues across Strabane Town. These connections will be explored and exploited through music, drama, heritage and discussion. A programme of literary initiatives will be developed to celebrate the life of Flann O’Brien (Myles Na Gcopaleen) and his world-renowned works. These will build on the grass roots appreciation of the author, as well as developing school and community group workshops, and completing a hiking trail.