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People of the Wild Atlantic Way Photography Project –
Teddy Black – Castletownbere, West Cork.
‘The thing I love doing most of all is story telling because its an escape from reality but it is also very entertaining for people. I’ve been telling stories since childhood. My grandmother had a restaurant and boarding house. People from all over Ireland stayed there, including lighthouse keepers and fishermen and it was from listening to their stories that I developed an interest in story telling.
Beara has a great tradition of story telling and is a great source for stories. I tell stories about the everyday, funny characters, local history, tragedies at sea and ancient mythology. International visitors are fascinated by Irish mythology, as far back as Cú Chulainn and stories of what Ireland was like in the past and the changes that have happened.
Story telling is a way of preserving an oral history, a way of connecting to the past and bringing to life events that would otherwise be forgotten, such as tragic events that took place on the Calf Rock, off Dursey Island in the mid 1800’s when the locals on Dursey thought they saw a distress signal from the Calf Lighthouse during a storm. Seven men set out in an open boat, a huge wave capsized the boat and all seven were drowned.’