Oein DeBhairduin in Conversation with Nuala Hayes

Why the moon travels

Mermaid Arts Centre is thrilled to welcome Oein DeBhairduin, author of Why the moon travels, for an evening in conversation with storyteller and actor Nuala Hayes.

Why the moon travels is a haunting collection of twenty tales rooted in the oral tradition of the Irish Traveller community. Brave vixens, prophetic owls and stalwart horses live alongside the human characters as guides, protectors, friends and foes while spirits, giants and fairies blur the lines between this world and the otherworld. Collected by Oein DeBhairduin throughout his childhood, retold in his lyrical style, and beautifully illustrated by Leanne McDonagh.

Why the moon travels won both the Judges' Special Award and the Eilís Dillon Award at the 2021 KPMG Children's Books Ireland Awards.

Oein DeBhairduin is a creative soul with a passion for poetry, folk herbalism and preserving the beauty of Traveller tales, sayings, retellings and historic exchanges. He is the manager of an education centre and a long-time board member of several Mincéirí community groups, including having had the honour of being vice-chair of the Irish Traveller Movement and a council member of Mincéir Whidden. He seeks to pair community activism with cultural celebration, recalling old tales with fresh modern connections and, most of all, he wishes to rekindle the hearth fires of a shared kinship.

Nuala is an actor, storyteller and broadcaster and is currently chairperson of Storytellers of Ireland / Aos Scéal Éireann. Nuala has a broad repertoire of folktales, legends and myths, connected mainly but not exclusively with Ireland. She was founder/director of Scéalta Shamhna, Dublin’s Storytelling Festival, which she ran for 10 years. She has performed at many arts and storytelling festivals throughout Ireland and the UK, in Spain, Denmark, USA and at the Toronto Storytelling Festival in Canada. Nuala has collected stories in many parts of Ireland including Oileáin Cléire/ Cape Clear Island and the midland counties of Laois and Offaly.

She is the author of Laois Folktales published by The History Press in 2015.

Come join us as we gather together once again in Mermaid Arts Centre to explore these wonderful tales.

*Proof of full vaccination or else a recovery from COVID-19 certificate in the past 6 months is mandatory for patrons over the age of 18 to attend this performance. A valid form of ID is required to check certificates.*

Oein DeBhairduin

Oein DeBhairduin

Nuala Hayes

Nuala Hayes

‘A truly important book. Manages somehow to embody in the same breath the dazzling philosophy of the Pavee and the powerful poetry in their stories. Oein DeBhairduin’s lovely introductions are passionate and beautifully written in their own right, and his versions of these vivid stories are extraordinary and deeply affecting. The whole enterprise is both personal and universal and also marks the debut of a true writer.’

Sebastian Barry

‘The human world and the natural world, myth, folklore, kindness and cruelty combine in DeBhairduin’s skilful and vivid collection, and the reader is left with a deep sense of the power of story, and of love in the life of a child’

Deirdre Sullivan

‘Many of the old tales have slipped from the campfire circle to sleep forever with the tellers. Here then, is a rare collection of original gems, nourished and nurtured from the pen of a Mincéir’

Jess Smith