Listowel To Host International Storytelling and Folklore Festival

Mickey MacConnell, singer/song-writer, journalist, storyteller will be part of the new festival in Listowel. Photograph: John Reidy

A new festival will be added to the North Kerry calendar of events this year when the Listowel International Storytelling and Folklore Festival takes place from September 6th to 8th.

An initiative of Kerry Writers’ Museum and Listowel and District Historical Society, the festival will be a celebration of the rich oral tradition of Kerry as well as playing host to storytellers from Scotland and the USA.

Storytelling Sessions and Workshops

The inaugural Listowel International Storytelling and Folklore Festival will feature a packed programme of events including storytelling sessions and workshops, talks, walks and tours.

One of the highlights of the festival will be a celebration of the life and work of North Kerry writer Maurice Walsh, to mark the 140th anniversary of this birth. To many, including Ernest Hemmingway he was the greatest storyteller of his time.

A Great Revival

The art of storytelling has experienced a great revival in recent years, especially in North Kerry which boasts some of Ireland’s finest storytellers including Frances Kennedy and Sonny Egan, both of whom have won the All Ireland storytelling competition at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann over the past two years.

Share the Stories

“Our main role at Kerry Writers’ Museum is to share the stories of the great writers of the region and the customs and traditions they wrote about”, said Cara Trant, manager of the Museum.

“This oral tradition is continuing today with great local storytellers. Our festival will acknowledge and celebrate their art as well as welcome storytellers from around the world to share their stories,” said Ms. Trant.

Kerry Folk Tales

Friday night will feature an evening with Luke Eastwood, co-author of the recently published Kerry Folk Tales.

Luke will narrate a variety of myths and fables that will take the audience on a journey through Kerry’s past. Saturday night’s Storytelling Concert will feature US storyteller Randel McGee, Lizzie McDougall from the Scottish Highlands, Sneem’s Batt Burns, Causeway’s Bryan Murphy, Listowel’s own Frances Kennedy and singer/songwriter, Mickey McConnell.

Children’s Storytelling Sessions

The festival will include a strong young people’s programme with children’s storytelling sessions and workshops.

Other highlights include outdoor storytelling at Listowel Castle, an open-mic session at John B. Keane’s Bar and a trip to Lisselton as part of the Maurice Walsh commemoration.

Festival Support Acknowledged

Listowel International Storytelling and Folklore Festival would like to acknowledge the support from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Kerry County Council, without which the event would not take place.

A full programme of events will be available on Kerry Writers’ Museum’s website in the coming week at: