‘My mum would have really loved this idea’

The late Pat Mulkeen
The late Pat Mulkeen

The daughter of Derry storyteller, teacher, playwright and entertainer Pat Mulkeen has said she is “delighted” that a bursary has been set up in her mother’s memory.

The £600 bursary has been launched by the Verbal Arts Centre - with whom Pat worked closely right up until her death earlier this year.

Her daughter, Laura said: “Mum was a powerhouse when it came to the Storyfest storytelling festival - and was exceptionally passionate about storytelling.

“She had been working closely with James Kerr at the Verbal Arts Centre on putting together the programme for this year’s festival when she took ill.

“So many people came on board to help make sure the festival went ahead including the Verbal Arts Centre, the YarnSpinners and the Storytellers of Ireland.

“We were overwhelmed then, after mum died, when James suggested putting together a bursary in her memory.

“It is really lovely to see her remembered in this way - and I know she would have loved this idea. It’s exactly the kind of thing she would have applied for herself!” Laura said.

The Mulkeen family are of course still reeling from the loss of Pat, who passed away in May of this year following a short illness.

“It was very sudden,” Laura said. “There she was in February hosting two sold out nights at the Waterside Theatre with her play ‘Two Cream Cookies and a Wee German’.

“She was in her element - in the prime of her life - and then just a few months later those who had come to see the play were attending her funeral”.

Laura and her brother John watched as more than a thousand people attended Pat’s wake and on Friday night a large crowd attended her memorial night at the Verbal Arts Centre.

“It is still hard to come to terms with, but we know she lives on and was well thought of.”

The Pat Mulkeen Bursary is open to female storytellers. For more information contact the Verbal Arts Centre.