Portrush Heritage Group have been carrying out a storytelling project, Tales of the Skerry Roads, in five local schools - Carnalridge Primary, St. Patrick’s Primary, Portrush Primary, Millstrand Integrated Primary and Ballytober Primary.
The programme of Story Telling was funded under the Causeway Coast and Glen’s Culture, Arts and Heritage Programme.
The storytelling programme was lead by Liz Weir a Northern Ireland Children’s Writer and Storyteller. Liz is currently Storyteller in Residence with Libraries NI and author of 27 children’s books. Liz was the first winner of the International Story Bridge Award from the National Storytelling Network, USA.
Liz was assisted in the programme by Kate Murphy a well know local writer and storyteller. Kate, a member of Storytellers of Ireland, has a long interest in the subject, stemming from her love of folklore, myth, legend and story.
Liz and Kate have been visiting the schools over the past 6 weeks to tell stories about the black-hearted pirate Tavish Dhu, the tragic story of young Maeve McQuillan of Dunluce or the Portrush Giantess Mary Murphy. The children were then invited to write their own stories which released a wave of creativity. Encouraged by their teachers the children have responded by retelling and writing stories, composing poems, painting pictures, and drawing comic strips. Some children interviewed older relatives about their lives and stories and children from other cultures retold their stories in their own language.
Portrush Heritage Group will be collating the stories for presentation to a wider audience. They will also feature the stories at the Pirates off Portrush Festival in June and July.