Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Once Upon a Place Tour - The Burren



 A Happy 5Oth Birthday to Eoin Colfer - (Laureate na nÓg) - May 14th 1965


Eoin Colfer (2014-2016)
Eoin Colfer was born in Wexford in 1965. Having qualified as a primary school teacher, he worked in Wexford before travelling and working in Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Italy. His first book, Benny and Omar, was published in 1998, based on his experiences in Tunisia; it has since been translated into many languages. A sequel followed in 1999. He attained worldwide recognition in 2001, when the first Artemis Fowl book was published and became a New York Times Best Seller, as did some sequels. Among his other popular works are Half Moon InvestigationsThe Wish ListThe Supernaturalist, and a series of Eoin Colfer’s Legends. In January 2008, Colfer published a book titled Airman, another best-seller. His latest novel, Warp The Reluctant Assassin has been nominated for the CBI Book of the Year 2014. To date more than half of his books have reached the New York Times list at least once. Eoin Colfer currently lives in Wexford, Ireland with his wife, Jackie, and two children, Séan and Finn.
Written by Nessa O'Mahony

Eoin Colfer


I adore visiting schools and groups of children, so it was a pleasure and tremendous privilege to be included in Once Upon a Place (a nationwide tour of storytelling) in the Burren - May 6th and 7th 2015. Along with Nuala Hayes, Erika McGann, Matt Griffin, Alan Nolan and Sarah Webb we met 633 children in schools all over Co.Clare. I did two sessions in Doolin National School on the first day and met the whole school (26 pupils) at Tubber the following day. As always, the children were bristling with tremendous ideas and stories of their own and didn't seem too disappointed that I wasn't Eoin Colfer (phew.)

The Once Upon A Place programme has three strands: the first brings stories to children all over Ireland, reaching places that might not normally be prioritised e.g. schools that are not part of a writers in schools scheme, remote communities that may not have had a visiting storyteller before, or youth/reading groups that may not have funding to access visiting artists. Eoin’s second focus is on fantastic places: extraordinary settings in which to stage very special and memorable storytelling events to spark children’s imaginations and bring the magic of story and of books to young people. In a third strand, Eoin is editing an anthology of original short stories written by well-known Irish writers for children as well as other prominent Irish personalities from the worlds of literature, music, comedy, TV and sport
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Nessa  O'Mahony


I love the idea that remote communities also have the opportunity for a visit from a storyteller (this undoubtedly will have far-reaching positive outcomes.)



Huge thanks to CBI, Nessa O'Mahony and Peter Salisbury, Patricia Fitzgerald ( County Clare librarian extraordinaire) Eoin Colfer, The Salmon Bookshop and fellow weavers of story( Nuala, Erika, Alan, Matt and Sarah) for a wonderful time. 
Making story-scapes at Doolin National school


A lil 'doodle - Sadie Cramer


Doolin National School

Mask making with the younger classes at Doolin National School


At Tubber National School 

Alan Nolan, Erika McGann, Sadie Cramer, Sarah Webb and Nuala Hayes( Matt Griffin missing form the picture) The Salmon Bookshop Ennistymon.
Photo by Peter Salisbury