For one week each autumn, Mick Dowd is hired to disinter the bones in certain sections of his local cemetery, to make way for the new arrivals. As the time approaches for him to dig up those of his own late wife, strange rumours regarding his involvement in her sudden death seven years ago gradually begin to surface.
Writing in his introduction to The Leenane Trilogy, Fintan O'Toole says ‘A Skull in Connemara centres on the literal digging up of the bones of the ancestors. The dead cannot rest in peace, but must be yanked from the ground to make room for the new corpses that are queuing up to occupy it. When characters in the plays . . . die, there is no feeling that the community is bereft. After the vol-au-vents, there will be amnesia.’
A Skull in Connemara, a Druid Theatre Company/Royal Court Theatre co-production, was first presented at the Town Hall Theatre, Galway, on 3 June 1997, and subsequently opened at the Royal Court Theatre Downstairs on 17 July 1997, in a production directed by Garry Hynes, and starring Mick Lally in the lead role.