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Sneem International Storytelling & Folklore Festival


8th - 10th November 2019

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The story of Sneem Storytelling Festival...

Our Festival started because Batt Burns had a dream … to hold a festival in his hometown of Sneem with folklore and storytelling being the main themes.

A group of three, Batt, Jim and Grahame initially got together to explore this idea and after a while Rosie joined the happy band.  This was back in 2011 and in 2012 our inaugural festival was opened by Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.                                                                                  

Needless to say, our first festival was a success and over the years we have gone from strength to strength with the financial support of Failte Ireland by way of grants and our fabulous volunteers.  Since we started our festival we have also had the support of the Sneem Hotel and all the public houses whose properties we use for a pub trail every year.

In 2013 Batt came up with the idea of having a special concert for young people who want to tell stories; they were called “The Young Tellers”.  It has become one of the most successful events in our festival.

Our professional Storytellers have come from the USA, Wales, Scotland, and of course Ireland.  Among them:  

USA - Mike Mazur, Jay Stailey, Mark Binder, Tom McDermot, Linda Poland.

Wales - Michael Harvey

Scotland - David Campbell

Ireland - Batt Burns, of course!, Sonny Egan, Sean O’Se, Pat Speight, Clare Murphy, Nuala Hayes, Ray O’Sullivan, Jack Lynch, Liz Weir and Jim Maher.

We have so far had two fantastic plays: Tom Crean - Antartic Explorer written and performed by Aidan Dooley and John B Keane’s The Matchmaker with Jon Kenny and Mary McEvoy.  This year is the turn of Mikel Murfi’s The Man in Woman’s Shoes.  Our Festival has held an evening with GAA Legends hosted by Micheal O’Muircheartaigh, with Pat Spillane, Tony Hanahoe and Weeshie Fogarty telling stories from their GAA days.

Folklore hasn’t missed out either.  There have been lectures on:

“The Place of Daniel O’Connell in Irish Folklore” - Rionach Ni Ogain

The Cailleach – the old woman of Irish Folklore and literature - Nuala Hayes

From Buck House to the House of Healing – Padriag O’Concubhair

Story in the Work of Kerry Authors – Gabriel Fitzmaurice

Ancient Irish Traditions – Lisa Feeney


Our wonderful audiences have come from America, Australia, Canada, Hawaii, UK, most of Europe and all over Ireland.

We have enjoyed putting on our Festival for you and hope you continue to visit us to see what else we have to entertain you with.



National Folklore Collection