NUI Galway’s new €6 million arts and cultural centre, the Bailey Allen Wing, was given a spectacular launch recently with an official opening featuring performances from Druid Theatre, Macnas, and Frankie Gavin.
Sciathán Bailey Allen is named after the late Frank J Bailey, born in Galway in 1938, and the son of Desmond and Angela (later Allen ), both city-centre hotel proprietors.
He graduated from NUI Galway in 1962 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. During his university days he was a member of Drama Soc and was important in getting the society to stage experimental and innovative drama.
Later, he worked with Radio Éireann as an actor and producer and he went on to establish his own theatre company, producing dramas for the Olympia, Gaiety, Abbey, and Celtic Art theatres. Frank’s last production was JM Synge’s Riders To The Sea, staged in Galway in 1971. He died in 1972.
Though a generous bequest from his mother, the late Angela Allen, the spirit of Frank Bailey will be memorialised at NUIG through the new wing and centre, while continuing to foster and support the artistic development of Galway city.
The Bailey Allen Wing will include performance facilities, exhibition space, and an auditorium for university, civic, and public events. It will facilitate the university as a prime theatre space to be used by students for performance as well as by the university for conferring and other significant events.