Festival of stories

On Thursday October 10, Roundwood House welcomes back the Slieve Bloom Storytelling Festival.

On Thursday October 10, Roundwood House welcomes back the Slieve Bloom Storytelling Festival.

In its 11 year, this year’s festival features veteran storytellers Jack Lynch and Paddy O’Brien, as well as a host of other musicians, poets and yarn spinners.

There are very few settings more befitting a storytelling festival than the Slieve Bloom Mountains. Unspoiled and ancient, it is the backdrop to many Irish legends and the natural home to the Slieve Bloom Storytelling Festival. Now in its 11th year the festival takes place from October 9 to 12 in different villages in the mountains.

The festival brings the past to life, carrying on the oral tradition in the great houses and castle halls that have played host to many tales told over the centuries. This year’s festival features veterans Jack Lynch and Paddy O’Brien, as well as a host of local raconteurs, singers and musicians.

A special feature of the festival is the ‘Rambling House’, which encourages festival-goers to participate, by telling a story, singing a song, reciting a poem or playing a tune. Everyone has a party piece and the ‘Rambling House’ is the perfect excuse to bring it out and dust if off. The festival kicks off with a ‘Rambling House’ at Brearton’s pub, in Ballybritt at 8pm on Wednesday, October 9. This promises to be an entertaining night of music, stories and songs that is not to be missed. Storytelling nights then move around the mountains with Roundwood House (outside Mountrath) playing host to the festival on October 10 and then Leap Castle (Kinnitty) on October 11 and 12.

One of the important aspects of the Slieve Bloom Storytelling Festival is the annual school visits by the visiting storytellers. During the day, the storytellers travel to local primary schools, to talk about the art of storytelling and hopefully inspiring a few future yarn spinners.

Visit www.slievebloom.ie, e-mail info@slievebloom.ie or visit www.facebook.com/storytellingfestival for more information.