Maghera’s First Storytelling Festival


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Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd April 2016

The Link Maghera (Tower Restaurant) at 8.00 pm on both nights

Refreshments available

For further information and booking contact the MHS Heritage and Cultural Centre at 028 79549835

or the Secretary James Armour at


COME HERE TILL I TELL YOU! Maghera’s first Storytelling Festival, organised by the Maghera Historical Society through their Heritage and Cultural Centre, takes place on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd April 2016. Join us as we celebrate the great tradition of tale and song in this country – a heritage we all share, which stretches back into the mists of time when neighbours and friends would visit and gather around the hearth in the evening to swap news and tell tales.

For two nights in Maghera, story-tellers and performers from all over the province will join local musicians to enthral and entertain us. Their stories range from local tales through to myths and legends, personal anecdotes and fantasy. Some are funny, some sad and others nostalgic but all have the power to capture our attention and connect with us.


Roy Arbuckle, singer songwriter from Derry, whom people will remember from his early years with showbands and folk band Chaff. Roy has performed all over the world and has written and recorded ‘Songs of the Fountain’ based on memories of the Fountain district in Derry.

Joe Brennan, based in Donegal will take you on a journey of magic and wonder down the highways and byways of Ireland with his repertoire of legends and folktales from Ireland and beyond.

Ian Coalter from the Moy, has been involved in yarn-spinning from his teenage years with Loughgall Young Farmers Club. His observations of life together with his quick Ulster wit combine to promise humour and entertainment.

Declan Forde’s stories, songs and poems are all rooted in the background and memories of the life and times of the people from the Sperrin Mountains. He has performed all over Ireland and has taught Creative Writing and Irish Art History in West Virginia and Pendleton Oregon.

Steve Lally has been an artist and storyteller for more than fifteen years now. As well as writing his own material he includes elements of folk tales, myths, recitations and story-songs in his work and strives with his art to capture the energy and emotion found in stories.

George Shiels is well-known in Maghera for his own unique and individual way of describing the people and place he loves so well. George has a sure ear for the vernacular and a humour and understanding that runs through all his stories.

Liz Weir, based in Cushendall, is a storyteller with a world-wide reputation. Her tales have brought pleasure and delight to adults and children on five continents and in recognition of this she was the first winner of the International Storybridge Award from the National Storytelling Network (USA).

So we are look forward to two nights of entertaining and enjoyable tales and stories, music and craic in a welcoming atmosphere. All are invited to The Link (Tower Restaurant) at 8.00 pm on Friday and Saturday nights. Admission is £8 per person per night. Pre-booked tickets are available for £7 per person per night. Phone the M.H.S. Heritage and Cultural centre at 028 79549835 for bookings and further information or email the Secretary James Armour at




The Festival is also involving the local schools, with Storytellers Liz Weir and Steve Lally visiting Knockloughrim PS, Maghera PS, and St Mary’s PS.

The aim is to bring life to the traditional art of storytelling, introduce children to stories old and new, encourage creativity and the development of literacy skills in an enjoyable and fun way. The schools sessions are organized with the assistance of the Writers in Schools Scheme

Writers in Schools NI supports visits and workshops by writers and storytellers to primary and post-primary schools all across Northern Ireland. Each year approximately 4,500 children and young people enjoy an encounter with some of Ireland’s best-loved writers and storytellers. Writers in Schools NI is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. For more information, see: or contact



Maghera Library, with Librarian Carol O’Doherty, is part of the Storytelling Festival too. Liz Weir is Storyteller in Residence, Libraries NI and she will be holding a family storytelling event for primary age children (and their parents) ‘Once Upon a Time…..’ in the Library at 11.00am on Saturday 23rd April. Admission is free.


Ask Staff for details

Tel: Maghera Library: 028 7964 2578



EARNED WISDOM (A storytelling and reminiscence workshop)

We often undervalue our own stories and yet all of us have interesting tales to tell. This workshop by Pearl Hutchinson and Liz Weir will give guidance on how to put a shape on your stories and memories for retelling and recording

It will be held in the MHS Heritage and Cultural Centre, 17 Coleraine Road. Maghera from 2.00pm to 4.00pm on Saturday 23rd April. Admission is £5.

For further information and booking contact:

Maghera Historical Society Heritage and Cultural Centre at 028 79549835

or the Secretary James Armour at

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