The Laureate na nÓg team is delighted to announce the start of an exciting new storytelling project which is taking place as part of the 1916 commemorations. The 1916 rising is often seen as a purely Dublin-based event, but localities all over Ireland were affected by events taking place in the capital city during Easter Week. The Seanachaí 1916 Centenary Story Project will encourage children all over Ireland to learn how to tell the story of those events as they unfolded in their own communities and areas and to imaginatively engage through storytelling with the history of their nation, effectively creating a dialogue between the children of the past and present.

Following on from its successful Once upon a Place national storytelling tour, in which Laureate na nÓg Eoin Colfer and a team of storytellers travelled all over Ireland exchanging stories with children, the project team are now sending professional facilitators and storytellers for residencies in five locations around Ireland, to work with children to gather the stories local to their own schools, communities and families, and to find the best ways to retell those stories in performance.

The Seanachaí project , which is being led by experienced facilitator Bernadette Larkin, is taking place in schools in Derry, Dublin, Galway, Cork and Carlow. The participating schools are: St Brigid’s School, Derry; Larkin Community College, Dublin; Galway Educate Together NS, Newcastle, Galway; Blarney Street School, Cork and Gaelscoil Eoghan Uí Thurairsc, Carlow
In each residency, storytellers are working with the children in a series of workshops that teach the skills of gathering and retelling stories of 1916 and their own, local communities. Each project will be documented and it is hoped that it will form part of an oral storytelling event in the Dublin Festival of History in 2016.

The project ties in with the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht aims to remember the past, reflect on the last hundred years and look to the future. It is being funded through the generosity of Eoin Colfer, who returned his annual stipend as Laureate na nÓg to the Laureate project fund.