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Why the moon travels with Oein DeBhairduin and Michael Collins
28 November , 5:00 pm – 5:30 pm GMT
With Oein DeBhairduin and Michael Collins
In partnership with the National Botanic Gardens
Oein DeBhairduin is a writer from the Traveller community with a passion for preserving Traveller tales and sayings. Why the moon travels (Skein Press) is the community activist’s debut publication. The book is a collection of folktales and retellings of stories from the Traveller oral tradition, and is illustrated by artist Leanne McDonagh. Join us as actor, director, and Traveller activist, Michael Collins, in the stunning National Botanic Gardens as they discuss the publication of Why the moon travels and the strength found in pairing community activism with cultural celebration. Michael will also treat us to a performance of a story from Why the moon travels.
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Oein DeBhairduin is a 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 Collins was born in 1966, in an Irish Traveller family. He is a theatre and film actor, director and playwright, founder of Traveller Wagon Wheel Theatre Company. As a Traveller activist, he has been fighting for the rights of Roma in Ireland. He received a lifetime achievement honour at the Traveller Pride Awards from the President of Ireland for his work in preserving and promoting Traveller culture.
Storytelling has a long tradition dating back to several generations in Michael Collins’ family. This vision appears in his semi-autobiographical play, It’s a cultural thing. Or is it? His own memories mingle with the tales that he has heard from others and he recounts them with his own personal touch. The play premiered in 2005 at Dublin Fringe Festival. Michael’s other shows include Magpies on the Pylon, Worlds Apart and Ireland Shed a Tear? Michael’s film work includes Pavee Lackeen, Man About Dog, King of the Traveller and Float like a Butterfly in 2019.