The seanchaí was for generations at the centre of traditional Irish storytelling. This was a live experience, where stories were spread by word of mouth and rarely if ever written down.
University College Dublin (UCD) Folklore Department, the National Museum, the EEC Commission, the Department of the Taoiseach and RTÉ have come together to set up a new storytelling project which will document these stories by making video recordings of the last traditional storytellers in Ireland.
David Hanly spoke to Sean O'Cathain from UCD Folklore about the project and says that many stories are very lengthy and told in the Irish language. For O'Cathain, the old-fashioned art of storytelling has reached the end of the line. However, before it dies out completely he plans to leave an audiovisual record of these stories.
We hear an example of a recording from seanchaí Seán Ó hEinirí from Kilgalligan, County Mayo.
A 'Morning Ireland' report broadcast on 25 July 1985.