In the spirit of Throwback Thursday and because Eamon Kelly was one of the great seanchaí of our time and his stories truly celebrate Ireland.
The tradition of the seanchaithe is as old as the history of Ireland – and in fact they were the folk history of Ireland from the earliest times. Some were servants of the tribal chiefs and it was their duty to keep track of the history and stories of their clan and in absence of written records to pass them on. Some were itinerant travellers, moving from community to community offering their abilities in exchange for food, shelter and, in times of war, protection. Others were members of established settlements who told and retold the histories and tales of the community and the country at ceremonies, feasts and events. Their stories, and the art of telling them, were passed on from one to another without being written down in an oral tradition that stretches to the earliest days of settlement on the island.
They should not be confused with the…
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