Children encouraged to keep ancient art of storytelling alive

Lough Gur students preparing this week for the Lough Gur storytelling competition, Emer Kirby, Ava Hartigan, Siofra Carey and Maria Harhen

Lough Gur students preparing this week for the Lough Gur storytelling competition, Emer Kirby, Ava Hartigan, Siofra Carey and Maria Harhen

  • by Aine Fitzgerald

TRADITIONAL music, storytelling, drama and folklore will envelope the Lough Gur area over the October bank holiday weekend when it plays host to its very successful and increasingly popular storytelling festival.

From Thursday October 27 to Monday October 31 inclusive, the entertainment at the Honey Fitz theatre will include rambling house sessions, traditional music and drama from Lough Gur amateur dramatic society.

The Lough Gur storytelling festival, now in its 17th year has grown from strength to strength.

“We started the storytelling festival in 1994 as a tribute to local seanchai Tom McNamara,” explained Tom Flynn, chairperson of Lough Gur Development Association, the local community group behind the festival.

“The festival has grown each year and it now focuses on training primary school children in the locality on the art of storytelling with the hope being that this ancient art will not be lost to television and Facebook.”

The Lough Gur storytelling festival line up begins on Thursday evening, October 27 at 8pm with a rambling house session. Admission to the rambling house session is free.

On Friday night the Lough Gur national school’s storytelling competition takes place. The competition will be judged by Willie Carr, and Fiona Quinn who is the facilitator with County Limerick Youth Theatre. The storytelling competition, such an inaugural part of the weekend, continues to attract considerable interest from schools locally.

This year, so far, there has been 10 entries in the competition. Carmel Gleeson, principal of Lough Gur NS is delighted to have her school represented again this year.

“We have children counting the days to the competition,” she explained.

On Saturday morning Michael Quinlan will guide a bus tour around the historic sites of Limerick and entertain and enthral the visitors. Tickets for the mystery bus tour, which departs at 10am from the Honey Fitz Theatre, can be purchased from Michael on the bus. The cost is €20 which includes entry fees and lunch.

On Saturday afternoon, Miriam Lambert returns once again to the Honey Fitz by popular demand. Miriam will have two shows on Saturday, both lasting approximately 50 minutes in duration, at 2pm and 4pm at a cost of €5 per person.

The festival continues on Saturday evening at 8pm with an eclectic line up including Little John Nee, whose wit and wry sense of humour will entertain the audience, along with his incredible musical talent.

Little John will be joined by local poet John Carew, a native of Lough Gur and a touring Canadian duo ‘Celtic rathscallions’. This versatile duo are performing at the Lough Gur storytelling festival as part of an international tour of Ireland, which will see them perform at schools and theatres across the country.

On Sunday at 1pm visitors can join a local volunteer from the Lough Gur guides for a two hour guided walk of magical Lough Gur, starting at Grange stone circle and visiting local sites including Teampall Nua and Carraig Aille. The weekend of folklore continues with more stories in the heritage centre at 3pm for an hour and a half of fact, myths and legends with local historian Michael Quinlan. On Sunday night, Lough Gur amateur dramatic society take to the stage with their performance of ‘Wedding night Blues’ a hilarious one act by Jimmy Keary and directed by Tom Lynch.

Following the local drama will be comedian and musician Paul Malone. On Monday, Halloween night at 7pm, the 17th Lough Gur storytelling festival wraps up with County Limerick Youth Theatre putting on an open Mic night with singers, comedians and dancers hosted by local band ‘Never the less’.

For more information log onto




Back to the top of the page