Looking Elsewhere to rediscover a piece of Irish history

Composer Michael Gallen’s new opera is an absorbing recreation of the establishment of the first Irish Soviet community in Monaghan more than a century ago

Michael Gallen’s new opera, Elsewhere, tells the story of the first Irish Soviet community

February 1919, Monaghan town. The gates to Monaghan Lunatic Asylum have been locked, and a red flag is hoisted onto the roof. In Dublin, the first Dáil has just been declared, but the asylum inmates and those who are rallying them to the socialist cause have greater ideals than nationalism on their minds. Led by radical republican Peadar O’Donnell, they have become part of the first independent Irish Soviet – a community dedicated to equal ...