For over 100 years, the Irish National Theatre, better known as the Abbey Theatre, has served as one of the premiere literary and cultural institutions of Ireland. It has nurtured the work of some Ireland’s greatest authors, including W. B. Yeats, John Synge, Sean O’Casey, Brendan Behan, Brian Friel and Hugh Leonard. It has also been the catalyst for some of Ireland’s most notorious cultural controversies. Although the Theatre’s relationship to the government in Ireland and its role within Irish society have evolved over its history, it has maintained the same sense of purpose: to maintain and enrich the repertoire of Irish drama and to provide a showcase for the unique cultural and artistic identity of Ireland.
Cusack, George. "The Abbey Theatre / The Irish National Theatre". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 November 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1202, accessed 23 January 2017.]