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Culture Night 2020: Creative Places Tuam launches Thinking on Tuam Residency
Detail of Traveller wagon. Photo: Vance Lau

Culture Night 2020: Creative Places Tuam launches Thinking on Tuam Residency

18 Sept 2020


price & booking
Due to popular demand, registration is not necessary. Links to the conversation and Walking Tour will be added to this page on the 18th September.

Creative Places Tuam launches the first “Thinking on Tuam Residency” on Culture Night 2020.

Creative Places Tuam is pleased to announce the first Thinking on Tuam residency, awarded to author and educator Oein de Bhardúin.

This residency provides space to hear from voices and people in Tuam and beyond – activists, artists, academics, thinkers, historians, craftspeople, social campaigners, and more. Each residency will inform the larger Creative Places Tuam programme by further embedding the programme in the community. Oein will curate a series of conversations, provocations and writings on the rich cultural heritage of Tuam, focusing on the stories and folklore of the Travelling Community and its importance to the town.

We’re delighted to share the first public conversation of our Thinking on Tuam residency, between author Oein DeBhardúin and filmmaker and folklorist Michael Fortune. The conversation focuses on folklore, mythology and stories, with Oein sharing his personal experience, his family’s superstitions and habits, while Michael shares his knowledge of region-specific and country-wide legends and folklore. Click the box below to view this video. A full transcript of their wide-ranging conversation is available here.

Thinking on Tuam: Folklore Legends and Myths

“Walking Whid/ Walking Story” is now available on Soundcloud (just click the box below) – download and join Oein on this journey through the town, hearing about the stories, folklore, legends and history of Tuam, the Traveller Community and its relationship with Tuam.

The route begins at Bishop Street, before visiting Town Square, Shop Street, Chapel Street, Temple Jarlath, High Street, Galway Road, Church View before finishing at Vicar Street/ Railway Station. You can access a map and route guidance here. A full transcript of the walking tour is available here.

Stay warm while you walk: redeem a hot drink on us at Leaf and Bean Café (Bishop Street) by presenting this webpage and telling a staff member “I’m on the Walking Whid!”. This offer will be available during Leaf and Bean opening hours until Sunday the 26th of September, for the first 200 people who present the webpage. Join us on social media and let us know how you got on with the walk!

 “Walking Whid/ Walking Story” – a journey through Tuam with Oein DeBhardúin


The residency will be launched on Culture Night 2020, with a pre-recorded conversation between Oein and Michael Fortune, film-maker and folklorist, on folklore and stories. This conversation will be shared at 7pm on this page.

And, going live at 4pm on Culture Night but available to download and listen any time, join Oein for “Walking Whid/ Walking Story” a journey through the physical space of Tuam Town. Oein will guide the listener through the town, narrating the stories, folklore, legends and history of Tuam, the Traveller Community and its relationship with Tuam.


Oein DeBhardúin is a writer and creative soul with a passion for poetry, folk herbalism and preserving the beauty of Traveller tales, sayings, retellings and historic exchanges. He is the manager of an education centre and a long-time board member of several Mincéirí community groups, including having had the honour of being vice-chair of the Irish Traveller Movement and a council member of Mincéir Whidden. He seeks to pair community activism with cultural celebration, recalling old tales with fresh modern connections and, most of all, he wishes to rekindle the hearth fires of a shared kinship.


Michael Fortune has been a pioneer in the area of socially engaged work within Ireland over the past twenty years and his practice has widened the conversations regarding the intersection of traditional and contemporary cultures. Fortune continues to produce project work throughout the country and works as a part-time Associate Lecturer at Limerick School of Art and Design (Master of Education and Digital Media). He also conducts work as a Visiting Lecturer in many colleges and universities Ireland and is currently an External Examiner on Limerick School of Art and Design’s MA programme. His life, interests and practice are an intertwined and inseparable mix of the ancient, the contemporary, the private, the public and the intangible.


related programme
Creative Places: Tuam

Oein De Bhardúin on Skein press

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