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What's the Scéal? will explore storytelling and memory at the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life in Co Mayo

Some of the storytellers featured in this year's What's the Scéal? programme

The National Museum of Ireland - Country Life and Poetry Ireland are excited to present a special event exploring the craft of storytelling and its continued development and relevance, for the third annual What’s the Scéal? mini-symposium.

What’s the Scéal? takes place at 2pm on Friday, 1 December, at the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life, Turlough Park, Castlebar, Co Mayo. 

Chaired by poet and writer, Theo Dorgan, the theme of the event is Storytelling and Memory and features a panel discussion with some of Ireland's best known storytellers, including Joe Brennan, Eddie Lenihan, Jack Lynch and Simone Schuemmelfeder.

This is the third annual partnership between the National Museum of Ireland and Poetry Ireland for What’s the Scéal? The symposium was first presented online in 2021 due to COVID-19 public health guidelines. 

What’s the Scéal? also includes a special schools programme, exploring connections between objects and stories, with storytellers Fiona Dowling, Jack Lynch and Orla McGovern.

Welcoming the continued partnership with Poetry Ireland, Tom Doyle, Assistant Education Officer at the National Museum of Ireland, said:

Our partnership with Poetry Ireland and these talented storytellers from across Ireland continues to deliver a vibrant and engaging event exploring the craft of storytelling here at the Museum. This collaboration provides a unique platform to look at elements of our tangible heritage, on display here through our National Folklife Collection, and our intangible heritage, of which storytelling is such an important part. This year’s theme of memory and storytelling is sure to provoke some interesting discussion, reflection and learning.”

Jane O’Hanlon, Education Officer with Poetry Ireland, also welcomed the continuation of the initiative: 

We in Poetry Ireland are very happy to be collaborating with the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life on this ongoing exploration and celebration of storytelling. There has never been a greater need to listen to, and appreciate, each other’s stories, to try to gain a deeper and more empathic understanding and appreciation of each other’s ways of being in the world. This festival offers a unique opportunity to engage with the power of story, and no more powerful way to do that than to invoke memory and all that that entails.”

What’s the Scéal? Storytelling and Memory is a free event but booking is essential as places in the audience are limited. For booking enquiries, please email the Museum Bookings Office at

The mini-symposium will be recorded and made available through a podcast on following the event. Last year’s symposium is also available to listen back now.

Learn more about the What’s the Scéal? schools programme 2023.

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