BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

20 February 2015
BBC Northern Ireland Learning - Storyteller - Study Ireland - KS3/KS4 BBC TV

BBC Homepage

BBC NI Schools
- ages 11-16

Contact Us

The Thorn TreeThere have always been storytellers because people enjoy stories. This is true of all races and periods of history. Story-telling was a favourite art and amusement among the Gaelic-speaking people of Ireland and Scotland and much of their repertoire went back to pre-Christian sources.

In olden days, there were professional storytellers, divided into well-defined ranks - ollaimh (professors), filí (poets), baird (bards), seanchaithe (historians, storytellers), whose duty it was to know by heart the tales, poems and history proper to their rank, which were recited for the entertainment and praise of the chiefs and princes.

The Poacher and the Baliff The Undertaker The May Altar

A tale of a poacher and a bailiff who live in the same village, drink in the same pub and know each other's habits as well as they know the habits of the fish in the waters they work. As they both attempt to outwit each other, tragedy ensues.

The Undertaker is a man with an obsession for money. But what happens when the 'Bean Si' and the Spectre of Death appear to him? The Undertaker can try to cheat his fate but he cannot escape it.

Father O'Mahony's housekeeper, Annie, has died. The story looks at the curious events surrounding the May altar flowers which the priest places on Annie's grave - and what the hidden camera reveals.




The Thorn Tree The Camping Holiday

The Study Ireland: Storyteller series can be ordered from the SELB, by quoting the programme code. See our ordering page for contact details.

1. The Poacher and the Baliff
SELB prog code: TF1245

2. The Undertaker
SELB prog code: TF1322

3. The May Altar
SELB prog code: TF1398

4. The Thorn Tree
SELB prog code: TF1474

5. The Camping Holiday
SELB prog code: TF1554

After inheriting a country farm, Sean comes from London to develop the site which involves destroying a fairy 'thorn'. When the locals refuse to cut down the tree, he does the job himself. Enter 'The Thorn Maiden'...

A young man on a camping trip asks a blacksmith to make some tent pegs. The smith agrees, but asks £20 for his work, since he made the pegs from magic horsehoes. The young man rips the blacksmith off - and pays the consequences!



About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy