Mini Mayo Symposium will explore the world of storytelling in Ireland today


Niall de Búrca will conclude the What is Scéal? series with a public performance for adults at the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life on December 3.

The National Museum of Ireland – Country Life and Poetry Ireland presents a mini symposium, in collaboration with a host of talented storytellers from Ireland and beyond, exploring the ancient tradition of storytelling and its continued development and relevance today. today.

What is the Scéal? Scéalta agus an Seanchaí/Stories and the Storyteller takes place at 2 p.m. on Friday, December 2 at the National Museum of Ireland (NMI) – Country Life, Turlough Park, Castlebar.

It will be chaired by poet, writer and journalist Theo Dorgan, joined by a panel of some of Ireland’s best-known storytellers, including Jack Lynch, Liz Weir, Pat Ryan and Oein de Bhairdúin.

Tokyo-born storyteller Masako Carey, who has lived in Ireland for more than 20 years, will also discuss the role of storytelling in Japanese culture as part of a panel discussion on storytelling traditions in Ireland and other countries. cultures of the world.

This is the second annual partnership between NMI and Poetry Ireland to deliver What’s the Scéal? The symposium was presented online in 2021 due to Covid-19 public health guidelines, so this is the first year that storytellers will come together for an in-person event at Turlough Park, just outside Castlebar.

What is the Scéal? is a series of three-part events: storytelling sessions for primary and post-primary school groups; a public performance for adults; and a more in-depth symposium for storytellers and the wider culture, arts and education sector.

Niall de Búrca will conclude the What is Scéal? series with a public performance for adults in the museum galleries on Saturday, December 3. Niall is one of Ireland’s foremost storytellers and he will deliver what appears to be an atmospheric portrayal of stories in a unique location, inspired by objects from the National Folklife Compendium.

Welcoming the continued partnership with Poetry Ireland, Thomas Doyle, Deputy Head of Education at the National Museum of Ireland, said: “We are delighted to be partnering again with Poetry Ireland and these talented storytellers, who preserve an important part of our cultural heritage that offers so much fun, entertainment and educational value. This mini symposium is an opportunity to celebrate a unique and ancient craft that has survived over the centuries and continues to remain relevant for modern audiences. The symposium is sure to be an interesting afternoon of discussion, reflection, sharing and learning.

Jane O’Hanlon, head of education at Poetry Ireland, also welcomed the continuation of the initiative: ‘Ireland’s rich storytelling traditions are now even more valued as part of our heritage’ immaterial’. We are our stories and, more importantly, we become the stories we tell ourselves. Never has the world needed to share these stories so much and what is the Scéal? invites the listener and the storyteller to do just that. Poetry Ireland is delighted to be part of the initiative again this year.

What is the Scéal? Scéalta agus an Seanchaí/Stories and the Storyteller is a free event but booking is essential as audience seating is limited. For reservation enquiries, email the Museum Reservations Office at [email protected]

Tickets for the public performance with Niall de Búrca on Saturday December 3 are also free but reservation is required. Reserve your place by emailing [email protected] For more information, visit


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