Episode 6

In the Company of the Banshee with Caoimhe Nic Giollarnáth | S3 Ep6

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Our Story

As the film, the Banshees of Inisherin receives awards across the world, we explore stories of the bean sí, the Irish fairy woman who was considered a harbinger of death. Our guest, Caoimhe  Nic Giollarnáith, brings us stories from Ireland’s Schools Collection as well as  and stories her own childhood.

Our Guest

Caoimhe  Nic Giollarnáith is originally from County Kildare. She has always had a keen interest in Irish folklore and mythology and grew up listening to her father tell stories in Irish about the féar gortach and bean sí. She attended Irish language medium schools and graduated from University of Galway, with BA and MA degrees in Modern Irish. While studying at University of Galway, Caoimhe took Irish Folklore courses taught by Dr. Lillis Ó Laoire. She has over 10 years of teaching experience as an Adjunct Professor and recently earned the Certificate in teaching Irish to adults from Maynooth University. Caoimhe currently teaches Irish language and literature undergraduate courses at Lehman College, City University New York and Irish language classes for adults at the Irish Arts Center, Manhattan and New York Irish Center in Queens. She also teaches one-to-one classes. Her clients include the families of Irish diplomats working at the United Nations and Irish Consulate, New York. In the past, she has taught Irish language courses at Fordham University, Manhattan College and Rosetta Stone. In February 2020, she received a Top 40 Under 40 award from The Irish Echo. Caoimhe  is a regular guest on Irish language radio shows on BBC, RTÉ Raidió na  Gaeltachta and featured in the Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) award nominated documentary series GAA USA broadcast on TG4. In June, Caoimhe will be launching her own Irish language classes online and in-person in Manhattan.

Our Conversation

  • The wealth of folklore found at Duchas.ie, the database of Ireland’s National Folklore Collection. Find the story from this episode here.
  • The Irish language“talkie” film: Oidhche Sheanchais, from 1935 which features  a night of storytelling and keening on the Aran Islands.
  • Death in Ireland and the culture of large funerals and how it differs from the US
  • Meeting the Badb, another face of the banshee
  • Reclaiming the legacy of Peig Sayers, the Irish storyteller whose memoir was required reading for generations of Irish students 

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About the Podcast

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KnotWork Storytelling
Myths Retold, from Ireland and Beyond

About your host

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Marisa Goudy

Marisa Goudy is a story healer, a writing coach, and a word witch. Her book, The Sovereignty Knot: A Woman’s Way to Freedom, Power, Love, and Magic, was released in 2020.
Marisa nurtures writers and storytellers in her long-running online writing community, the Sovereign Writers’ Knot.
On this show, Marisa combines her passion for story with her love of Irish literature, culture, and folklore and her fascination with the Celtic world. She has a particular love of stories of heroines, goddess, and women whose tales were forgotten by history.