Documentary on One

The Grandfather Canoe

Two hundred years after a revered and sacred canoe disappeared from the banks of the St John River in Canada, it turned up in a building in Galway.

Documentary maker: Cathal Póirtéir

Cathal Póirtéir has been broadcasting on RTÉ Radio1 for thirty years.

Throughout this time he has made programmes in a wide variety of areas - features, current affairs, documentaries, drama, music, religion and Irish language programmes.

He has a particular interest in traditional song, social history and literature in the Irish language. Many of his programmes are rebroadcast by RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta. He is the producer in charge of Irish language programmes in RTÉ Radio 1.

In support of his radio programmes he has produced a number of books and CDs in both English and Irish. CDs include Blasket Island Reflections (based on a four-part documentary series); the documentary The Appeals of the Midnight Court (included with a dramatised reading of Cúirt an Mheáin-Oíche produced by RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta) and Traditional Tales of Wonder (from a children's drama series), featuring his own translations of folktales and legends from a Donegal storyteller.

His books in English have included the bestselling series of Tomas Davis Lectures The Great Irish Famine (Mercier) and his compendium of famine folklore Famine Echoes (Gill and Macmillan). Irish language counterparts on the same subject were Gnéithe den Ghorta and Glórta ón Ghorta (Coiscéim).

He holds an MA in Irish Folklore and has accepted invitations to lecture on folklore topics in Ireland, Europe and North America.

He has also commissioned and edited the short story collection Scéalta san Aer and edited the poetry collection Éigse san Aer.

Cathal Póirtéir can be contacted at

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