University of Galway welcomes new storyteller-in-residence

by Seán Lyons


The Centre for Irish Studies in University of Galway has announced the appointment of Máirín Mhic Lochlainn as storyteller-in-residence for 2023.

Originally from Ros a Mhíl, Mhic Lochlainn has won several awards for storytelling including Corn Neidí Frainc at the Oireachtas. She has taught storytelling in Ireland, Wales and Denmark.

“…storytelling has been forgotten…”

Mhic Lochlainn expressed her gratitude at the announcement, saying “I’ve been telling stories all my life so it’s an honour to get this position”.

She stressed the importance of preserving the ancient Irish tradition of storytelling which she said has been “forgotten”.

 “I’m delighted that they are looking at storytelling because it’s one of the art forms of the Irish that is forgotten; the sean nós singing, the dancing and the music are doing very well but storytelling has been forgotten nearly everywhere so hopefully this might help”, she said.

Storytelling workshops

Mhic Lochlainn will teach a five-week series of workshops in the Centre of Irish Studies in spring 2023 and a second series will take place in autumn 2023. The workshops will be conducted through the Irish language and are open to the public.

The first series will focus on the Scéalta Fiannaíochta and will run every Thursday at 7pm beginning on Thursday 2nd February.

“It’s like a drama…”

Speaking on the appeal of storytelling in the modern age, Mhic Lochlainn said that learning the craft can “give you confidence” and is “great for the imagination”.

“It’s like a drama; to be able to present yourself, to give you confidence and of course above all, it’s great for the imagination because you’re listening to the story and you see the picture in your head”, she said.

Professor Louis de Paor, Director of the Centre for Irish Studies, welcomed her appointment.

“This is a great opportunity for us to recognise the art of oral storytelling and to celebrate Máirín’s particular ability in this area of our native culture. We are really looking forward to working with her next year”, he said.

The project is funded by Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údaras na Gaeltachta and the Arts Council, in association with the Centre for Irish Studies at University of Galway.

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