News

North Inner City Folklore Project Spotlight

15 May 2019

North Inner City Folklore Project Spotlight

Folklore is… alive.

When people talk about Folklore, the first thing that you might think about is stories of fairies, saints and ancient heroes, but it is so much more than that. Folklore is the bits and pieces of knowledge that get passed on from one person to the next.

Still confused? Ok, how about this:

Did you know that children have their own separate folklore to adults? You know those games that you used to play growing up… no adult ever told you how to play them. They’ve been passed on from one kid to the next for hundreds of years!

“Ring a Ring O’Rosie” is a really good example, having been found all over the globe with versions dating back to the 1700s. That’s actually really impressive.

Folklore can be anything from your nan’s recipe for coddle, to games you play at Halloween or the way you talk with your friends. Folklore is made up of the different bits of everyday life and culture that tend to get left out of the history books.

So why did the North Inner City Folklore Project come about?

When people started gathering Folklore in Ireland, they had a certain enchantment with the idea of a picturesque rural Ireland, like what you’d see on the back of a postcard.

Despite being rich in culture and social history, collectors completely ignored places like the NEIC in the early years because they didn’t fit this vision of Irish Folklore. It wasn’t until the 1980s and the start of large-scale redevelopment, that the North Inner City Folklore Project began.

Led by Terry Fagan, the group had the vision of collecting the history and folklore of those that often got ignored or overlooked: the disadvantaged, the urban working classes, the Monto prostitutes and the men that visited them.

What they found, over the course of many interviews and countless cups of tea, was the rich folklore of a community that displayed “resilience, pride, humour, camaraderie – and of course, dissent” at its very heart.

If you want to learn more about the social history of the NEIC, the Railway Street Collection is open to the public from 2pm - 4pm every Tuesday - Saturday. If you’re interested in a walking tour of the area, get in touch directly at folklore@eircom.net

Stay in touch

Subscribe to our mailing list to stay up to date with news and events