Circular Tales: a celebration of sustainability in song and story. 10th February 2024

Tickets are now available for our Circular Tales event in the Triskel Arts Centre.

For more information on our Circular Tales project click here

The Cork Folklore Project are delighted to announce a performance event that brings together song, story and sustainability. Oral testimony on urban thrift in Cork City will be showcased, with renowned Traveller singer Thomas McCarthy, design historian Claudia Kinmonth, Paul Bolger from UCC’s Environmental Research Institute and other guests responding from their own varied perspectives.

The Circular Tales project is supported by the Science Foundation Ireland Discover Programme, and is organised in partnership with the Cork Traveller Women’s Network and the ERI.

James Furey, Circular Tales Project Coordinator: “We have been interviewing Traveller families, sustainability activists and Cork residents, and drawing on our interview archives, to bring together accounts of past and present ways of mending and making, acquiring and stretching resources. This rich material will be shared in the celebration event and through our online Cork Thrift Map.”

Clíona O’Carroll, project director: “We’re looking forward to seeing a broad mix of people at this free event in the Triskel Arts Centre, on Cork, Saturday 10th February, 2 to 4 PM. Bring your friends and your granny, your singing enthusiasts, your stitchers and your recyclers.”

Paul Bolger, Manager, Environmental Research Institute: “The development of a circular economy is a key goal of Irish Government policy. However we know that reuse, upcycling and thrift were part and parcel of Irish life in the past. Within Circular Tales, we are looking into the past to better understand the future for Ireland’s circular economy”

Eventbrite link:

Performers include

  • Thomas McCarthy – Traditional Singer
  • Claudia Kinmonth – Design / Furniture Historian, who will explore the inspiration of reuse, repair and sustainability in twentieth-century Ireland
  • Paul Bolger – Environmental Research Institute
  • Sustainability activists
  • The people of Cork through recorded oral testimony from the Cork Folklore Project’s Sound Archive

Community Listening Event – April 2023

‘Circular Tales’: slocking apples, chocolate crumb and collecting waste in 1940s to 1960s Cork City

At this community listening event, the Cork Folklore Project shared stories and memories from our archive to celebrate the launch of our project ‘Circular Tales’, with a most engaged audience. Dr Cliona O’Carroll and Jamie Furey (Project Lead), presented stories of how Cork City communities in the 1940s to 1960 stretched resources, earned extra money, and creatively appropriated all sorts of goods from chocolate crumb to apples to fish. The broader project will engage with our colleagues in the Environmental Research Institute who will identify how these memories are relevant to current concerns about ecological sustainability. 

Cork Folklore Project Listening Event (April 2023) – Circular Tales

Culture Night 2022: Immersive Oral History Experiance

We are delighted to share some of these photographs from our Culture Night 2022 event. We thought we would get a little more imaginative for Culture Night this year. Our Catching Stories team created an immersive oral history experience outside the old Grattan Street medical centre. We played a clip of Joe Scanlon recounting getting vaccinated in 1958 at the Grattan Street medical centre (click the link to hear the clip). People of all ages stopped by to be ‘transported’ back in time to hear Joe tell of his experience with ‘the branding iron’. It was great to see so much interest in our Catching Stories project and how strongly people reacted to the use of oral history in this way.

For more on our Science Foundation-funded Catching Stories project please visit

Heritage Council Funding for CFP

Under the Community Heritage Grant Scheme 2022, the Cork Folklore Project were successful in obtaining a grant of €6,300 towards our project – ‘OPENING MEMORIES’ – CORK FOLKLORE PROJECT ONLINE CATALOGUE.   This enabled almost 200 interviews with attendant metadata files to be compiled and uploaded by the appointed professional, Kieran Murphy.  This included data entry of all administrative and content metadata relating to almost audio interviews.  The Cork Folklore Project want to thank the Heritage Council for their generous funding and Kieran Murphy for his professionalism.   

What is the Cork Folklore Project?

We are a community-based non-profit, founded in 1996 in partnership with the Department of Folklore and Ethnology, UCC and Northside Community Enterprises.

What do we do?

We digitally record stories and memories from the people of Cork. Our collection holds over 1,000 hours of recordings on a range of subjects: working life, leisure, social change, health, childhood, and everyday life. We are recognised nationally and internationally for our high standard of folklore collection and dissemination.

How can you access the material?

Our full audio collection is open to the public and researchers by appointment.

You can also browse much of our material on the Online Catalogue, Memory Map, Journal and Media section on this website.

CFP Team with Professor Gearóid Ó Crualaoich (3rd from left in back row) pictured at launch of Grattan Street Stories Memory of Place (Feb 2020) Picture: Alison Miles / OSM PHOTO

‘Grattan Street Stories’ Exhibition Launch Anniversary

It’s hard to believe that it has been two years since the launch of the Grattan Street Stories exhibition in St. Peter’s North Main Street in February 2020.
We’re happy to share above some of the photos of the evening and hope they bring back happy memories for those involved.

In essence, the event was a community celebration via the work of the Cork Folklore Project’s Oral History Community Outreach Project in collaboration with the HSE. It highlighted the links between the community and medical staff over many decades as well as revealing the strong health-in-the-community themes explored in a unique way in the oral history method.

The exhibition features the work of artist Edith O’Regan Cosgrave, in a unique and innovative collaboration with the oral history work of Cork Folklore Project’s Kieran Murphy. More of the artwork can be seen here on Edith’s website.

Not only did the launch and the broader Grattan Street Stories initiative showcase the positive impact of the CFP Community Outreach Pilot Project thus far, but it also underlined the huge public appetite for the scheme and the great potential for expanding the project into the future.

Cork Folklore Project 25 year celebration

15 October 2021 will see the CFP present on 25 years in operation as part of UCC’s Community Week. We will be organising another event before the year’s close, with a little more time for celebration, but in the meantime you are cordially invited to drop in on Zoom between 12 and 1, Cork time. Please feel free to share this invitation.

25 Years of The Cork Folklore Project 

Time: Oct 15, 2021 12.00pm PM London 

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 853 8604 6707 

Passcode: 555784 

Catching Stories

We’re delighted to launch our project: ‘Catching Stories’, which brings oral history and health together in a new way. It’s an online social history resource focussed on infectious disease in Ireland in the 20th and 21st centuries. Here we bring oral testimony and family memory together with an immunologist’s perspective, in a multi-media exploration of diseases such as measles, polio and tuberculosis. Listen to what it was like to be a recipient of ‘The Branding Iron’ in 1960s childhood tuberculosis vaccination, view the memorial cards of Cork brothers dead from Spanish Flu within a fortnight of each other, browse the accounts of how families and communities were affected by infectious disease and listen to the stories. Learn about the history of these diseases, what causes them, how they spread and the efforts to combat them.  

Browse our pilot resource at We would love to hear from anyone who would like to contribute to the ongoing project: just contact us at