Links

Below we have listed some useful sites for your own rambling house evening in the following areas of interest: -
  • storytelling
  • folklore
  • nature
  • annual events
  • YouTube
  • miscellaneous
They are all excellent resources that deserve our support, so please recommend them to others if you enjoyed them, or tell them direct! If we have left any out, please let us know and we'll be happy to include.

Many of these sites are Facebook groups, so you will need to have access to that platform with your parents'  permission if you are not 13 years of age.

Any suggestions of sites we should add, email us please!

Storytellers

Ireland's very best storytellers

County Antrim based storyteller Liz Weir has told her stories to people of all ages on five continents. She has performed in pubs and prisons and hospital rooms. A prolific author. and a former children's librarian, Liz knows and shows the power of a well told story.
Donegal's own Keith Corcoran is a storyteller, an author, a folklorist, a tour guide and, I'm pleased to say, a good friend who is always excellent company. Check out Keith's new website to hear the man in action or buy one of his books which are in great demand.
The legendary Eddie Lenihan, is an author, storyteller, lecturer and broadcaster. He is one of the few practising seanchaithe or traditional Irish lore-keepers and tale-spinners, remaining in Ireland. Look out for the multimedia section of his website to hear the man in full flow.


Rab Fulton is a self-taught writer, storyteller, podcaster and comedian living on a hill overlooking Galway Bay. Most of his time is spent working on new stories and poems; rehearsing shows; giving workshops on creative writing and storytelling.

Bristol based Clare is multi-talented being a storyteller, teacher, trainer and consultant. Her repertoire is rooted in Irish mythology and folklore, but she also tells world folklore, original stories, fables and anecdotes, all with great gusto and flair.


Seamus O’Rourke is an award-winning writer, director and actor from County Leitrim. He tours Ireland regularly with his own self-penned shows. Seamus has over two million hits on Social Media with his collection of short stories, recitations and sketches. Photo: Donnie Phair.

Folklore

The leading sites on folklore in Ireland

From its origins with Irish folklore collectors who, from the 1920s, scrambled around the country on a mission to record traditions, the National Folklore Collection (NFC) has grown into one of the biggest and most impressive collections of folklore and oral traditions anywhere in the world. The collection itself consists of almost 4,000 volumes of bound folklore, much of it handwritten and a substantial portion of it collected by schoolchildren during a special project that was undertaken in the late 1930s. There’s also a sound archive and a collection of art.

folklore.ie is a living online archive centered on the folklore collection work of Wexford's Michael Fortune and is an ideal entry point into living superstitions, beliefs and customs from throughout Ireland.

All of the material which he has collected, archived and re-presented on folklore.ie stems from localised field work which Michael Fortune has undertaken within communities and with individuals the length and breath of Ireland since the late 1990’s. His folklore.ie Facebook page is a big global hit.


The Fading Year is an Irish Folklore Blog founded by Nev Swift in October 2015.

The Fading Year explores and creates content relating to Irish Calendar Customs and Seasonal Folklore as practiced and observed in Ireland during the nineteenth century – although, for context and to explore the development of Irish Customs, Traditions and Beliefs material from before and after this period is sometimes referred to. Ensure you sign up for the newsletter which always appears just before a feast day.


Nature

Hear from the experts who know their outdoors

Niall Mac Coitir grew up in a bilingual environment in Dublin with a love of Irish history, culture and nature instilled into him. An active member of the Irish Wildlife Trust, he has produced a four book series on the myths, legends and folklore of Ireland's animals, birds, trees and wildlife. Beautifully illustrated and imaginatively written, these books are essential reading for any budding rambling house M.C. to have.
The one woman force of nature that is Éanna Ní Lamhna  is one of the most instantly recognisable voices on Irish radio.  Éanna is also the author of several popular wildlife books; her books Talking Wild (2002) and Wild and Wonderful (2004) and Straight Talking Wild (2006) were published by Townhouse. her latest book, Our Wild World, came out in 2021 with O'Brien Press.
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The Great Big Book of Irish Wildlife guides the reader through the seasons in Ireland. Explore nature in your back garden as well as in mountains, rivers, forests and sea.  Overflowing with stunning photographs and engaging, child-friendly cartoons accompanied by clear accessible text. A wonderful gift for children to help open their eyes to the natural world, from a real expert.  

Annual Events

Annual events to note in your diary

Culture Nights are a way to create awareness and opportunities for cross-cultural education. They can include presentations, performances, food tasting, and so much more. Culture Nights are primarily hosted by cultural and identity based student organisations. The Irish Culture Night has been on the go since 2005 and usually occurs on a Friday evening in September.
Heritage Week is an annual nationwide set of hundreds of events organised by the Heritage Council in Ireland (who offer a comprehensive heritage resource guide here). Usually held in August, they are a celebration of Ireland's culture, history, gardens, and architecture that gives visitors free access to landmarks that are either usually pay to enter or not open to the public.
Ireland is the first (and only) country in the world to have a national day of free creativity for children and young people under 18. Cruinniú na nÓg is a flagship initiative to enable the creative potential of children and young people in a wide range of fun, free, creative activities; from graffiti art workshops to stop-motion animation, robot-making to shield-making workshops

YouTube champions

Seriously good playlist collections

With the narrator's clipped received pronunciation, these archives are instantly recognisable. We can look back wryly at some of the remarks made as the commentators can seem puzzled/amused by what passed for everyday life back then. There's a great range of films from Ireland during the 20th century in our YouTube search here like the one on the left from 1965.
Conor Ryan's YouTube playlists are extensive and engaging video clips of Ireland in the last hundred years. We can't say we've gone through each of them, so parental guidance is advised for what you may wish to use in one of your rambling house evenings, but from what we can see, they have the three key ingredients to a good evening - entertaining, educational and informative. Subscribe to his channel and save the ones you like in your YouTube Watch Later folder.
With some 75,000 YouTube followers, Killian has a strong following out there with, in his own words 'sourcing, digitising and sharing lost and forgotten Irish and UK television'. This will definitely need parental guidance as to the viewing on everything from Self Aid to the Hillsborough disaster. This pre-Failte Ireland tourist ad however is just the sort of forgotten gem that he has plenty of for the family to enjoy.
The Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith, West London, has an excellent archive in its own right, but also a growing YouTube archive allowing us to hear the likes of the wonderful Kate Corkery in full flow. Here she is talking as no storyteller should to an empty room due to the pandemic, but ever the pro, she still manages to convey some of the magic of a storyteller in full flow. 
Not exclusively Irish videos here, but a great way of taking a magic carpet around the world to see the different cultures of countries from years ago! The video on the left is one of about Ireland from a long time ago and is an interesting watch to say the least! We haven't gone through them all, so parents will want to check before adding to a rambling house evening.