Fort Dunree to host special heritage event

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The historic Fort Dunree will host a special event reviving the ancient Irish art of storytelling later this month.

The ‘Evening of Storytelling and Song at Fort Dunree’ will take place on Wednesday, August 23 and marks the sixth annual evening at the former Irish army base, as part of Heritage Week.

This year’s theme is ‘Heritage & Nature, a landscape of possibilities’.

The evening will take the form of a celebration of the local rich tradition of storytelling, which was a favourite past-time and amusement among the Gaelic-speaking Donegal, as well throughout the rest of Ireland and in Scotland for centuries.

A spokesperson for the event said: “Much of their repertoire went back to pre-Christian sources.

“Denied the possibility of enhancing their place in society, and deprived of the means to promote and progress their art, the storyteller was held in high esteem by the ordinary Irish, who revered and cultivated story and song as their principal means of artistic expression.

“Our famous oral tradition is exemplified in famous storytellers from Peig Sayers to Anna Nic an Luain, Eamon a Burc, and many more.

“Alongside folktales and legends, all these stories, told around the firesides at night, formed the backbone of entertainment and imagination in Ireland for many millennia.”

The spokesperson added: “Legends tended, and still tend, to be told on a more informal basis – in the fields, over the kitchen table, at the pub – and do not require any specialised skill or knowledge in their telling.

“Legends were slightly more likely to be told by women than by men. But other forms of storytelling – folktales, hero tales, and myths – have traditionally been the preserve of the seanchaí, who was slightly more likely to be male.

“All too often our stories, songs and poetry are lost so this is an opportunity to preserve and enjoy these traditions for years to come.”

Anyone who would like to submit something for the evening is asked to contact the organisers on 074 93 61817.

People can also come along to the event and both contribute and enjoy the fun filled evening. The event gets under way at 8pm on Wednesday August 23, at the Saldanha Suite, Fort Dunree.