What was life like in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown over the years? Storyteller Helena Byrne posed this question to members of local day care centres in the county over a number of months last year. Enjoy these stirring memories of trips to the Baths on sunny days, shopping in the much loved local shops of the past such as Lee’s and Lipton’s; and getting dressed up for a Saturday night out in the Top Hat! Comprising audio recordings and written interviews, this heart-warming exhibition is the culmination of a social history project to collect and preserve stories and recollections of times gone by in the County.

This exhibition has been curated by Helena Byrne following her visits to and recorded conversations with the members of day care centres around Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown in Summer/Winter 2021.

A huge thanks to the staff and members of all the participating Day Care Centres for sharing their stories especially: Beaufort Day Care Centre (Glasthule), The Clevis Unit (Leopardstown), Leopardstown Park Day Centre, Mount Merrion Friendship Club and Shankill Day Care Centre.

The project, a joint initiative of DLR Libraries and DLR’s Age Friendly Programme, was supported by the Creativity in Older Age Fund, part of the Creative Ireland Programme.

For the past thirteen years, Helena has combined her passion for music and singing with her love of Irish folklore, performing as a seanchaí (storyteller) and singer for audiences of all ages across Ireland and further afield. Akin to the travelling seanchaí of times past, Helena has performed regularly across Europe and the Atlantic. Daniel Mulhall, Ambassador of Ireland to the USA says of Helena, “She is a gifted storyteller, performer & singer, bringing to life Irish folklore & culture interwoven with Traditional Irish songs.”

Helena interweaves tales of Irish folklore and history, with traditional Irish songs and wonderful insights into an Ireland of days gone by. She has released four studio albums comprising of stories and music. However, what Helena enjoys the very most is gathering folk tales from the Irish community and having the opportunity to meet with people of all ages and backgrounds to hear their stories.

Join my newsletter