Being given the opportunity by The History Press, Ireland, to write some of the stories from the repertoire of Antrim storyteller, Billy Teare has been amazing. Like all creative ventures, it may appeal to none, some or all, but still, we thought it worthwhile to take some time to honour the tradition and culture of storytelling in a book.

We have been supported and encouraged along the way, by people who understand ALL the difficulties involved, even in stating a story is PURELY from one area, when so many folk tales are universal.

That said, there are stories included that are associated with Co Antrim: great myths and legends. We wanted to give a nod to those ready mades, but also to create tales within tales. We got ideas from old handwritten accounts and texts we found through research on Antrim, that convey the beliefs, characters, superstitions, trades, lifestyle and locations for readers.

We also utilised members of Billy's family, for history and background that we could use simply and pertinently, to describe rural Antrim folk, their community and lives. (And deaths).

We are not on Facebook or Twitter, as such, but have started to create a page that people can visit and keep track, as we get closer to the launch in Jan 2014. Thanks for helping us by stopping by now and then.

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Comment by Tradconnect Reviews on June 10, 2013 at 13:47

Hi. You will have to copy and paste it Kathleen/Billy. T

Comment by Dhomhnaill A. Lopez on June 10, 2013 at 13:20

Hiya Kathleen & Billy! Great story!!! (Can ye hear me smilin'???)

Well, I started a group for "Storytellers: The Gift of Gab, The Golden Tongue". Just received word that TradConnect has given it's acceptance and OK!!! I invite you to join to be our first members. I would love to drag this story, "The Devil & Bailliff McGlynn", over to be our first submission,...but I haven't a clue on how to do that. Maybe, I can persuade you to re-write it there, if I can't figure it out,....or if the honourable Tony Lawless is looking in, can tell me how to move/copy the story for the new group. Hope to see you there. Cheers,


Comment by Kathleen O'Sullivan Billy Teare on June 10, 2013 at 12:06
We are not great at the whole blogging, tweeting, posting and texting, so you work away the the discussion group. Will this help kick you off ? You may know of a ballad, collected by Sean O'Boyle and Peter Kennedy in the early fifties, it's called 'The Devil and Bailliff McGlynn. it came about because it is WELL known that there are certain times the lad from the hot place comes visiting, looking for a new soul to take down below. Of course he is only looking for those most heinous in thought, word and deed and so the first person he met, was a bailiff on his way to evict a farmer who was down on his luck, his crops having failed and his rent fallen into arrears.
Even a bailiff knows a blacker heart than his own. It was a bright sunny day and from the shadow cast by his new companion, the tail was a giveaway as to his identity. This bailiff also knew he would be going down below, with this gent, if he did not get a better offer.
They walked along in polite conversation and were passing a farmhouse. Inside, the mother was fretting at the lack of money about the place and was tested to the last of her temper by her unruly boy. In order to give her head peace, she scolded the boy severely for his bad ways and drove him out of the house, telling him he was for the de'il.
The bailiff was much relieved to hear of this "offering" within earshot of his escort and asked the dark one to grant the poor mother this favour, as she would have one less mouth to feed. He suggested it as an altruistic act, to take the bad look off what he was saying. His friend got a red glow in his eye, but he could recognise it was just the words of a mother, tired and fed up with her lot. And he shrugged.
They walked a little further and in the middle of a neat wee front garden there was a young pig amid the dainty flowers, making a great mess of the whole lot. The owner came out and hopped a stone off the pig's lug, calling for the de'il to take the animal. The bailiff thought this was surely a reprieve and started to eulogise about the pig, stating its seed, breed and generation. The dark man at his side cut him short. He would admit that a moment of frustration had made the gardener perplexed, that his fuchsia and marigolds were temporarily excavated. But it was an outburst that would be short lived and the fine pig would be well thought of again in no time.
The bailiff started to twitch and wriggle like a salmon caught at Torr head. He saw no way out of this situation, only to do a U-turn and leave his fellow traveller on the road. He bid an overblown, humble and sad farewell. The wind carried their words back to the rogue of a lad that had been causing his mother such strife. When he heard who was on the road, he ran as fast as he could to warn his mother, in her state of debt, to bolt the door, as there was a bailiff heading toward the house. Well she let out a piercing cry, from her heart and soul that the de'il might come and take that money seeking, wretch of a bailiff from her door. There was a clap of thunder and both fellas were gone off the road.
Comment by Dhomhnaill A. Lopez on June 10, 2013 at 11:16

Kathleen/Billy. I hope my comment didn't cause you to feel like you were annoying anyone. On the contrary, I agree with Tony and would love to see some stories (yours or those of other members) posted here on TC. In fact, I would like to start a Discussion and Group for that very purpose,....with your permission and support (unless you beat me to it and start them yourselves,...being more qualified than I). Also, keep us posted on the editing and release of your book. I'm sure with all of varied members you'd have a list of folks waiting to make the purchase. Hope to hear more from you soon. Cheers and best of luck,


Comment by Kathleen O'Sullivan Billy Teare on June 9, 2013 at 15:35
Thank you Tony. That is great to know. Our book is in for editing at present, so we cannot release anything from it, but it's certainly good to know people are interested in storytelling and hope they will drop by the new page we are creating.
Comment by Tradconnect Reviews on June 9, 2013 at 15:15

Kathleen/Billy. It would be great if you were to post your blogs/stories here on Tradconnect as well.  I am sure the members would love to read them. They are a very important part of the tradition so they would be very welcome. You could add links back to their original source and I would push them back out to our followers on FB, Twitter and the other social media we use ( if you wanted us ) to bring attention to your work. Cheers.  Tony

Comment by Kathleen O'Sullivan Billy Teare on June 9, 2013 at 13:44
Hello Dhomhnaill. We hope we are not annoying anyone with our post. Like yourself we think of storytelling as part and parcel of "the craic" found around music sessions. Our work includes music and song. We did not mean to raise it as something discreet from the trad music world. Tunes and songs and those who play and sing them are often the very stuff of stories.
Comment by Dhomhnaill A. Lopez on June 9, 2013 at 13:28

I'm so happy to see this here on TradConnect. Most folks here are musicians and singers. At one time I asked about the importance of storytelling as a traditional reality in ITM and was told that this might not be the right venue for adequate coverage (can't remember where or when I asked). Now, to see it here in this blog???,....well, I'm excited to see where this goes (in a discussion format). I have some fond memories of sitting in seisiuns, taking a break from the music, and listening to a captivating story given by one of the old timers, ending with cheers and applauds by all. I know this is a blog for your upcoming Antrim Folk Tales, but I'd be very interested in opening this subject up as a discussion of shared experiences. Best of luck in your upcoming venture. Anxious to here more about it in the future. Cheers,


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