Connie Regan Blake
Connie Regan BlakeUSA
Connie Regan-Blake is one of America’s most celebrated storytellers. With over four decades of professional storytelling experience, Connie was a central force driving the storytelling revival. She has performed in 47 states and 17 countries, captivating audiences across the globe with her unique blend of old timey charm and modern savvy.

Connie tours as a performer and workshop leader. Her workshops engage a wide variety of participants from novice to professional storytellers. She lives in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina and offers workshops in Asheville. She also travels to present these workshops to interested communities worldwide. For more information about Connie’s work visit

Pat Ryan
Pat RyanUK
Patrick Ryan is a storyteller, educator and writer who’s led several innovative storytelling projects including Kick into Reading, where he trained professional footballers to tell stories to children. He works all over Ireland, the UK and the USA, and across Europe. He’s a part-time Research Fellow at the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling, was recently storyteller-in-residence at Moscow Children’s Book Festival, and in 2011 was writer-in-residence at the Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture at University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada. Pat has written many articles on storytelling and storytellers, and wrote the award winning anthology Shakespeare’s Storybook.
Niall de Búrca
Niall de BúrcaIreland
Niall de Burca was raised in the West of Ireland. He emigrated as a young man, eventually settling in Aotearoa New Zealand where his life as a migrant had a major influence on his creative style. Niall’s professional storytelling career began in the ‘90s. He has performed on six continents in diverse places such as the EU parliament, Tehran and under the Lagan Weir in Belfast! His stories range from the Irish tradition to autobiographical tales. The interpretation of Art and Museum exhibitions are an important part of his work. These include shows on Max Ernst, kinetic artist Len Lye and the Vikings. Niall now lives in Dublin. As well as performing and holding workshops, he is an advocate for literacy. His philosophy on storytelling can be summed up in the Irish proverb, “Níor bhris focal maith fiacal riamh….A good word never broke a tooth”.

Senem Donatan
Senem DonatanTurkey
Senem Donatan is a Storyteller and an Educator. She is one of the founders of SEIBA International Storytelling Center, established on August, 2015 in Istanbul, Turkey.
Senem comes from theatre background. Between 1998-2012, she worked in theatre groups ITU Sahnesi, Tiyatro Amargi and Seyyar Sahne as actrist, director and dramaturgist. In 2013, she took her first storytelling workshop from Nazlı Çevik Azazi and later improved her storytelling skills by taking workshops from Ashley Ramsden, Ranghild Monch, Heidi Dahlsveen, Suse Weisse, Sue Hollingsworth and Geeta Ramanujam. Senem tells stories both for children and adults, gives storytelling workshops, coordinates international projects about storytelling.
Kevin Doherty
Kevin DohertyIreland
Kevin was born in Buncrana, Co Donegal. He came to music through records and radio rather than a handed down tradition. In his teens he began playing with a number of successful local bands, as they packed out hotels and halls. Bluegrass, country, folk, rock, blues, jazz, swing and trad all combined on the night. It was here that Kevin learnt to love the ritual of the dance.
In 1991 he was asked to join traditional group ‘Four Men and a Dog’. The band was at a formative stage and Kevin was delighted to take up the offer. Countless concert tours followed and six albums were recorded. Two of their records ‘Dr As’ and ‘Long Roads’ were recorded in Levon Helm’s studio in New York after the band (Four Men and a Dog!) accepted an offer from Levon to come to Woodstock. As he put it himself ‘hell it never did Muddy Waters any goddamn harm’


MC’s will include (various past & present members of the committee)

Pat Speight: Pat has told stories from Cork to Tennessee, Belfast to Montreal, North of England to Sardinia and many places in between. He has told stories to groups of two to 1200. A featured teller at festivals all over Ireland, England, and North America, is a regular visitor to Cape Clear.  He was Storyteller-in-Residence to Cork County Council in 2002.  He is the MC for the ever popular “Story Swap” event on Saturday afternoon.

Liz Weir: From County Antrim she is the founder of the Yarnspinner community storytelling groups in Ireland (1986). She was Director of the Ulster Storytelling Festival (1989-2008), and the North West International Storytelling Festival in Derry (1993-2000). She is currently the Director of the new Ghosts in the Glens Festival. She has been a member of the Cape Clear International Storytelling festival since its inception. Since 1992, she has travelled the world performing at international storytelling events, from the National Storytelling Festival (Tennessee) to the Australian and Canadian National Storytelling Festivals.

Paddy O’Brien: Born in Co Kerry he is a natural storyteller who has appeared at the Cape Clear Storytelling festival on three occasions including the first festival in 1994. He has also featured regularly at many of the other Irish storytelling festivals such as Slieve Bloom and Courtmacsherry.

Diarmuid O Drisceoil:  He grew up in a bi-lingual home, speaking English and Gaelic, and listened to the stories of his wide family network for years. He draws his stories mainly from the Irish tradition but adapts them to suit his surreal sense of humour. He has been a great favourite with audiences as MC at the festival for a number of years. Diarmuid is the author of four books, three of which with his brother Donal. The most recent offerings “50 years have flown: A History of Cork Airport”, and “Serving a City: The Story of Cork’s English Market” have been widely acclaimed.

Jack Lynch: Jack has been the featured Irish storyteller on three occasions at the Cape Clear Festival and has been a regular teller around Ireland and at storytelling festivals across Europe; in The Middle East; The West Indies; Newfoundland; and the U.S. He is the English language editor of Timeless Tales (2015), a collection of folktales told by Syrian refugees. Jack is a founder-member and chairman of Storytellers of Ireland/Aos Scéal Éireann.