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New foundation aims to preserve Irish folklore heritage

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Cathal Goan, Chairman of the National Folklore Foundation; Dr Kelly Fitzgerald, Lecturer in Irish Folklore and Celtic Civilisation at UCD; and Professor Ríonach uí Ógáin, Director, National Folklore Collection, UCD

The National Folklore Foundation (Fondúireacht Bhéaloideas Éireann), a new UCD company with charitable status, has been set up to preserve, protect and promote Ireland’s National Folklore Collection at University College Dublin.

The Collection is one of the largest folklore collections in the world. It is composed of circa 3 million manuscript pages, 500,000 index cards, 12,000 hours of sound recordings, 80,000 photographs and 1,000 hours of video material. It was inherited from the Irish Folklore Commission in 1970 whose mission it continues through the expansion of the collection.

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Wren Boys, St. Stephen’s Day, Athea, Co. Limerick. [Caoimhín Ó Danachair, 1947] Source

 “A primary objective in establishing the National Folklore Foundation is to increase public awareness of and interest in Irish Folklore,” said Professor Ríonach uí Ógáin, Director, National Folklore Collection at UCD. “Fund raising through the Foundation will now enable us to enhance the Collection as a national resource. We can now source, research, collect, compile and preserve new Irish folklore material. It will now be possible to publish and disseminate new and current material, nationally and internationally, through the National Folklore Foundation,” she added.

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Charlie Fanning, thatcher, Skerries, Co. Dublin, speaking to Tony Lynch. Photographer: Bróna Nic Amhlaoibh (source)

Cathal Goan, Chairman of the National Folklore Foundation said, “The establishment of the National Folklore Foundation will foster the development of relationships with other existing foundations and trusts, along with the development of corporate and private donation schemes to maximise income for the Foundation. This will enable the dissemiation of Ireland’s rich folklore heritage to a wide national and global audience.”

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