Writer, singer, actor, director, folklorist, journalist and Ulster man Richard Hayward talks about his latest book.

Richard Hayward was at the Galway Oyster Festival entertaining and promoting his latest publication ‘Munster And The City of Cork.’ which is aimed at 

Any sort of intelligent tourist coming over you know he wants to know things about the country, this’ll be in the book.

This is Richard Hayward’s fifth collaboration with artist and illustrator Richard Piper, who travelled with him around Munster to sketch,

Things that were important to Munster in general...buildings, old castles, cromlechs, people and places.

This interview for ‘Newsbeat’ was recorded at the Galway Oyster Festival, on the last weekend of September 1964. 

Ironically it was broadcast on RTÉ Television on 13 October 1964, the day Richard Hayward died in a car accident near Ballymeena, County Antrim, having suffered a heart attack while driving. 

Born in Lancashire in 1892 his family moved to Larne, County Antrim two years later and later settled in Greenisland.

A founder member of the Empire Players also known as The Belfast Repertory Theatre Company Richard Hayward also performed for the BBC when it began broadcasting in Northern Ireland in 1924. He started the Belfast Radio Players with Tyrone Guthrie

His first publication was in 1927 with a book of poetry, and thereafter wrote five travel books covering the four provinces of Ireland. 

Richard Hayward also had starring roles in the early ‘talkies’ shot in Ireland, ‘The Luck Of The Irish’ in 1935 and ‘Irish And Proud Of It’ in 1936. 

In between all this he was an accomplished musician and singer, who recorded popular gramophone records of traditional Ulster songs and ballads, and published three songbooks in the same vein.

An active member of the Belfast Naturalists’ Field Club until his death, he was equally interested in geography and biology as he was in archaeology, history and the built environment. 

A member of the Orange Order, he was taught how to play the harp by nuns in Lisburn, celebrated the culture of the entire island, and by the middle of the twentieth century was an important cultural figure. 

This report for ‘Newsbeat’ was broadcast on 13 October 1964. The reporter is Al Byrne.