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The origins of the Tintean extends back to 1987. Micheál Carr, a native of Ballybunion, harnessed the artistic and entrepreneurial spirit of a group of local young men and women, into undertaking tours of England, America, and Australia, performing their own distinct style of Irish music, song & dance. The success of these tours, allied to the talent of its participants, led to an annual international touring programme. Ceol Chiarraí Teoranta Productions was established to coordinate this international touring programme.


In the late eighties, it became apparent that there was a potential demand for this type of modern interpretation of Irish dance and music, and that the best way to develop the market in Ireland, was through residences in key tourism venues rather than a touring programme.

The development of the Tinteán Theatre in Ballybunion was then proposed to key members of the Ballybunion community. Resulting from several meetings with community members and Leaders, the North Kerry Arts, Cultural and Heritage Society Ltd was formed.

The Society had two aims, firstly to develop and manage a resident programme of contemporary traditional dance in Ireland and secondly to construct a theatre base for the society and its productions. The Tinteán was also to act as a catalyst in the tourism repositioning of Ballybunion and as a venue for a cross section of arts and entertainment in the area. The Society was a registered charity, comprised of several local shareholders.


The Theatre was built with revenue generated from North Kerry Arts, Cultural & Heritage Society Ltd ‘s Dance Show 'To Dance on the Moon' which toured worldwide for a number of years with residencies in the INEC, Killarney. Along with this the company secured funding from the Department of Arts, Sport & Tourism, Fáilte Ireland and North & East Kerry Development as well as a Bank Loan.


The Theatre ran successfully from its opening in 2005 until 2012, but due to burdening debt the Theatre could not present an active programme and thereafter only a limited number of events took place.


Founder and Visionary of the Theatre, Micheál Carr spent from 2012 until 2016 working tirelessly to secure the Theatre for the community of Ballybunion and for the developments of the Art, Cultural, Heritage & Tourism in North Kerry. In 2016, aged 50, Micheál died leaving a final wish that the Theatre survives and thrives for generations to come in North Kerry. 


In 2020, North Kerry Arts, Cultural and Heritage Society Ltd was converted to a company limited by guarantee, and NKARTS Theatre CLG was formed when a group of local business people came together with the intention to continue to work towards that goal.

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