MCs 2023

Bean/Fear a Tí

Kate Corkery


Kate is an Irish storyteller with a background in acting, singing and language teaching (English, French, Spanish and Gaelic). Born and educated in Cork, she originally left Ireland to work in Kenya. After three years teaching and traveling in East Africa, she moved to Europe, performed in a variety of theatres and TIE companies before joining UK based Common Lore, a company of storyteller/musicians from different folkloric backgrounds. There she met Winston Nzinga and Spud and Yam was born.

Along with their successful collaboration developing and performing songs, stories and music to educate and entertain children, Kate runs a monthly storytelling club for adults ‘Around the Fire’ from the Irish Cultural Centre in London, where she is Storyteller in Residence and organises further storytelling activities such as Storylab workshops, Culture Camp weeks, and an annual Irish storytelling festival.

Her input at the centre was recognised by The Fringe Report Awards 2009, when she was awarded Best Storyteller for ‘her outstanding work in regenerating the art of storytelling for today’s society; and in particular for her work in London bringing it to new and excited audiences.’ Kate is a frequent guest teller at other UK storytelling clubs and festivals across Europe. She regularly returns to her native Ireland, featuring in festivals and running master class weekend workshops.

She is a proud member of Aos Sceal Eireann and features on their CD of contemporary Irish Storytellers ‘Everlasting Voices’.

Liz Weir

N. Ireland

Liz Weir is a storyteller and writer from Northern Ireland. She was the first winner of the International Story Bridge Award from the National Storytelling Network, USA, which cited her “exemplary work promoting the art of storytelling”. Liz Weir has told her stories to people of all ages on five continents. She has performed in pubs and prisons and hospital rooms. She worked on stages in the mighty Vanderbilt Hall of New York’s Grand Central Station and in the Royal Albert Hall.

Liz Weir has worked for people with very different cultural backgrounds – for children from Israel and Palestine, at universities in Germany and Wales, on TV between South-Africa and Canada. And she appeared at major events, such as the National Storytelling Festival in Tennessee and the Australian National Storytelling Festival.

Her voice can be heard on CDs like “The Wailing Of The Wind”, together with the Mavron String Quartet. Liz Weir has also written more than 20 books. For instance ‘When Dad Was Away’, which is a picture-book about a child whose father is in jail. Or ‘Tales of the Road’, a children’s book about Irish Traveller life. In 2014 after a commission from the Festival at the Edge she wrote “All for the Dead Man’s Penny”. Violin player Ciaran Mulholland Liz Weir telling at the Crosskeys Inncomposed the music for that story of World War One.

Liz Weir does not only work as an artist. Advertising agencies ask her for concepts and she leads corporate training sessions, as storytelling has become more and more accepted as a marketing instrument. And for those working with Alzheimer’s patients, Liz Weir’s talks demonstrate that we can revitalize people by helping them remember and tell their stories.

Liz Weir

Paddy Ó Brien

Éire/ Ireland

Born in Co. Kerry, Paddy O’Brien is a natural storyteller who has appeared at Storytelling festivals all over Ireland. He has been a featured teller on many occasions at the world famous Cape Clear International Storytelling Festival. Paddy can entertain any audience from age 3 to 103 with his fantastic stories, songs and verse – told in his own inimitable way.

Paddy worked on RTÉ television as presenter of “Dilín Ó Deamhas”, an Irish language TV programme for children (1982 /1986 ). Paddy spent many happy years acting with Compántas Chorcaí ( Irish language drama ). This highly rated group presented shows throughout the island of Ireland. Paddy has written stories, poems and songs in both Irish and English. He regularly writes material for children. His panto “Ali Baba agus an 40 TD’s” was staged at The Everyman Theatre, Cork.

Rugadh Pádraig Ó Briain i gCo. Chiarraí. Is scéalaí nádúrtha é agus scéalta ínste aige ar fud na tíre seo go léir. Bhí sé go minic mar scéalaí ag an bhféile iomráiteach ar Oiléan Chléire. Tá sé ábalta scéalta a rá atá oiriúnach do ghach éinne ó aois 3 go 103. Baineann daoine fíor taitneamh as a scéalta, a dhánta agus a chuid amhráin – ínste ina shlí speisialta, spóirtiúil féin.

Simone Schuemmelfeder


Simone is a storyteller and writer from Germany.  Born in the small rural town of Beverungen, Simone grew up surrounded by stories. Her hometown is close to the Fairy Tale Road which runs all through Germany and connects the settings of various Grimm fairy tales. In 2011, Simone moved to Ireland where she founded the storytelling theatre StoryGate together with Irish teller and puppeteer Michael Phelan. 

She has performed extensively across Ireland, enchanting both adults and children alike, in libraries, schools and at festivals, including the Cape Clear Island International Storytelling Festival, the Kilkenny Arts Festival and the Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival. Simone also was Reader-In-Residence for Laois Libraries in 2018 and Artist-In-Primary-Schools for Tipperary Arts Office in 2019 and 2022.  She is part of Poetry Ireland’s Writers In Schools Scheme and writes children’s books. Her writing is represented by literary agent Marianne Gunn O’Connor.

Gerry Clancy

Gerry Clancy


Gerry Clancy is a member of Storytellers of Ireland, and the Dublin based storytelling group “Story-O”. A regular contributor to Cork and Dublin Yarn Spinners. He was featured on the Dublin Yarnspinners CD “15 Years of Dublin Yarnspinners” which was released in 2011. Gerry is a visual artist and professional consultant for the arts industry. As an artist his work has featured in a number of exhibitions both nationally and internationally. Gerry has also been a Co-Director Cape Clear International Storytelling Festival from 2012 to 2016.