‘I feel like if I don’t do it, who else will? I’m the man to keep this tradition alive’, says Dublin storyteller

July 4, 2024

A Dublin storyteller and poet feels he has a duty to keep an old Irish tradition alive, because if he doesn’t do it, nobody else will.

Sean Cuddy is performing at Sin é pub in Dublin city centre each Sunday this summer. In keeping with the ancient traditions, he tells stories of great Irish heroes, myths and legends.

“The sean oíche was a big event in the village. There was no TV, no internet, no electricity,” he said.

“You’d be in a big room, there’d be a big fire in the hearth, you’d be huddling there with all the community, from oldest members to the very youngest.

“It would have been lashing rain outside, you’re probably working out in the fields and it’s probably going to be lashing rain tomorrow as well.

“But in those moments, none of that matters. You are safe, you are warm and you’re with your family. You’re going to be transported away into a land of warriors and magic.

“I thought, isn’t it strange that Irish people don’t know these stories that much. We know them as kids, but we move away from them.

“I write my own versions of the famous myths and legends. I do a lot about Cú Chulainn, Queen Maeve and I do the Children of Lír. I put my own twist on them. I have my own writing style influenced by what I used to like to read when I was a kid.

“I used to be a competitive boxer as well. So when I’m on about Cú Chulainn I lend my own experience in a boxing ring when talking about the change that he undergoes and his battles.

“I feel like if I don’t do it, who else is going to do it? I’m just passionate about it and I want to show off our culture, which is amazing because not every country has these stories.

“I’m the man that’s going to do it. I want to show it to Irish people as well. I think we are always looking for opportunities to reconnect to our old culture.”