20 August 2005

Storytellers to spin tales on the rails

Irish Examiner

Neans McSweeney, South East Correspondent
20 August 2005

STORYTELLERS from across Ireland will be spinning their yarns and shortening train journeys for commuters today as they convene for a celebration of an age-old Irish tradition.
This morning over 40 of the country’s best storytellers will make their way by rail to the National Museum at Collins Barracks in Dublin for the biggest ever gathering of storytellers.

They will share their yarns with passengers on trains from Cork, Waterford, Wexford, Derry, Belfast and on the DART from Bray and Howth.

On arrival in the city centre the tellers will move on to The National Museum by Luas, with more Tales on the Rails, all to celebrate the launch of Storytellers of Ireland/Aos Scéal Éireann’s Irish Storytelling Handbook.

Waterford woman Anne Farrell is among those who will entertain and will travel on the Dublin train out of Waterford this morning, telling stories to passengers as she goes.

“I’ve been a storyteller from childhood,” Anne explained. “We always had stories in our house. We had a shanty house in Glenmore. It was a drop-in house for people who could play music, chat, dance and enjoy a bit to eat.

“My two sons are very good at it now too. Stories just come to us. I write my own and love to read the work of others. A lot of the best stories come out of nowhere. Like other storytellers, I get great enjoyment out of it.

“We’re leaving Waterford just before 11am and will probably get a few odd looks on the journey. We’ll tell stories as they arise and make contact with as many people as possible.”

When the storytellers converge on Dublin, a very special afternoon is in store for all as the museum erupts with storytelling.

There will be stories tall and short, true and not so true at various locations in the museum and no doubt lots of impromptu telling.

Its going to be a great gathering, according to Liz Weir, chair of Storytellers of Ireland.

“Tales on the rails will be a day out with a difference for all the family and with so many tellers gathered in the one place we’ll need lots of listeners,” she said.

Storytellers of Ireland/Aos Scéal Éireann was established in 2003 to promote and foster the rich tradition of storytelling on the island as a whole.

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