January 22, 2016

For many centuries in Ireland there has been a tradition of telling stories, reciting poems and singing songs as a form of entertainment and as a way of passing on what were the common beliefs of the time. These poems, stories and songs were performed by travelling men and women who were often paid with food and a place to stay for the night. The whole family of the house would listen to these performances by the fireside. The name of the person who told myths and folktales was the seanchaĆ­. These were very skilled story tellers. The seanchaĆ­ was often a male but the tellers of legends were often women.

Edmund Lenihan (born 1950), also known as Eddie Lenihan, is an Irish author, storyteller, lecturer and broadcaster. He is one of the few practising seanchaithe (traditional Irish lore-keepers and tale-spinners) remaining in Ireland. He has been called "one of the greatest of Irish story-tellers" and "a national treasure".

In his cultural preservation efforts Mr. Lenihan relies heavily on local informants. These individuals are (often elderly) members of the rural community who are steeped in a tradition of oral history.