The fourth Sneem International Storytelling and Folklore Festival kicks off in Co. Kerry next month.iStock

They’ve been telling stories for centuries in Ireland and the tradition continues with the fourth Sneem International Storytelling and Folklore Festival, November 6 - 8 in South Kerry. Organizers say the festival promises to be a pulse-quickening, funny-bone-tickling, imagination-prickling weekend of storytelling and spoken word activities.

The main thrust of the festival is to revive the old tradition of storytelling, which was part of the fabric of life in the Iveragh Peninsula in South Kerry for centuries.

This year the festival has attracted leading professional storytellers from Australia, Canada, Scotland and Ireland, including from Dublin and London – Clare Murphy, Scotland’s David Campbell and Kerry’s Ray O’Sullivan who will perform in the Gala Friday night storytelling concert.

Patrons can look forward to storytelling workshops and lectures, a storytelling pub trail, a Young Tellers concert (11-18 year-olds), lunchtime theater and the hugely popular ‘Story Swap’ sessions which are hosted by featured tellers over the weekend and where members of the public can come along to share and swap stories with each other.

Walking enthusiasts can take a storytelling walk into the countryside with a stop at an 18th century farmhouse to be entertained by Ray O’Sullivan or take a guided bus tour to nearby Derrynane House and Mass path.

Another festival highlight is acclaimed Kerry poet, translator and author of over 50 books Gabriel Fitzmaurice, who will deliver a lunchtime lecture entitled ‘Story in the Work of Kerry Authors.’

Festival chairman Batt Burns commented, “We are excited to have professional storytellers coming from across Ireland and two other continents this year. Our ‘GAA Legends’ event will spark particular interest as the GAA has been an integral part of the life of Ireland, both rural and urban, since its foundation in the late nineteenth century and we have pulled together some of the greatest GAA storytellers to bring to life their treasure trove of great human and historical stories that are entwined in the life of this great organization.”

Saturday night’s ‘GAA Legends’ event will feature two legendary national sports broadcasters Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh and Weeshie Fogarty joined by Gaelic Athletic Association icons Pat Spillane and Dublin’s Tony Hanahoe who will present an original format of GAAstorytelling; the story of ‘caid,’ the hard men of the GAA, maverick GAA coaches, funny incidents in dressing rooms, hilarious happenings on tours abroad and lots more.

A weekend festival ticket is $51 (€45) including the storytelling concert and ‘GAA Legends’ event.

For full details visit: www.sneemstorytellingfestival.com