From the archive: Paul Newman poised to buy Dunree as Nell McCafferty pens first opera? - November 1992

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Fort Apache Dunree - Newman interested?

Hollywood superstar Paul Newman has been linked with Fort Dunree, the historic former coastal defence battery bordering Lough Swilly in Co. Donegal.

Speculation mounted yesterday that the property, which was put on the market several weeks ago on the instructions of the Minister of Defence, would appeal to Newman’s ‘Hole in the Wall’ holiday camp for children suffering from cancer.

Letterkenny auctioneer Mr. Dermot Rainey, whose company Dermot Rainey & Sons, has been charged with the sale of the fort, could not reveal the identitiy of those who have shown an interest in the property because of ‘confidentiality.’

However, he added Newman, the millionaire film star with a long list of hit films such as “Cool Hand Luke,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “The Sting,” and, of course, “Fort Apache - The Bronx” had not made “direct enquiries” about the property.

Nell turns her hand to opera

Celebrated Derry writer Nell McCafferty, best known for her polemical journalism, makes something of a breakthrough next week with the first performance in the city of a new opera written by her.

In a startling departure from familiar themes, Ms. McCafferty’s ‘Bitter Fruit’ addresses the subject of women and church power in Ireland.

The libretto, with music by Dublin composer Fergus Johnston, draws heaviliy on recent controversies in the Republic, in both banks and the law courts. The opera will be presented at the Artillery Street Playhouse as part of a set of three musical dramas performed by the Dublin-based Opera Theatre Company under the label ‘Combattimenti’, relfecting their themes of conflict. One of the very first operas, Monteverdi’s ‘Battle Between Tancredi and Clorinda’ (1624), also features in the programme.