Committee members

(Image by Philip O’Byrne Photography)

Paddy O’Brien

Paddy left Kerry for a Munster final in Cork about forty years ago and got lost in the crowd. He has only recently discovered the road back. He is an ardent all-year-round skinny dipper. He thrives in front of an audience and longs for the night when he will be showered by a flurry of flimsy female undergarments.

(Image by Elisabeth Strasser)

Anita Howard

A Cork woman from Liverpool, Anita has travelled extensively collecting material for her outlandish tales. Anita is a great woman to muck in and get her hands (and feet) dirty – no doubt a product of her sterling career as a cross-country runner and to this day she sometimes can’t resist the urge to jump into muddy puddles!

(Image by Elisabeth Strasser)

Brendan O’Sullivan

Brendan is an unsuccessful poet, playwright, and singer-songwriter. He has recent delusions of being a storyteller – another failure waiting to happen! He lives a semi-nomadic life between Bonane and Cork. His long-suffering wife has endeavoured for years to get him to act his age and not his shoe size. An experienced turf cutter, he enjoys watching paint dry.

(Image by Elisabeth Strasser)

Colm Nestor

Born in Dublin, raised in Africa and shipped back to Cork – small wonder he sounds like the exotic creature that he is! He harboured ambitions of being a ballet dancer but found it difficult to procure a leotard of a suitable size. He is a gentle soul despite his fearsome appearance, but it is still advisable not to put one’s hand in his mouth!

Rae McKinlay

Rae has travelled the Celtic lands in her quest for stories. She currently resides in West Cork, where the landscape tells its own story. She is inspired by the stories found in the trees, the rivers, the people who lived in bygone days. When she is not spinning tales, she can be found with a pencil in her hand creating colourful cartoon characters. This is how she makes sense of life. Not an easy endeavour.

Mike Cohen

Mike Cohen is a self-described “wastrel and layabout”. He lives ten miles north of Boston, Mass where he helps to run The Story Space, a long-running weekly storytelling venue. A former sub-intendant of the French Légume, Mike has also helped to unpatent many useless and/or unnecessary inventions.

Paula Dugan

Paula Duggan tells stories from myths, tradition and her own musings. Her Celtic stories often traverse a magical Otherworld. Her original stories based on true experiences and flights of fancy peer into our dreams and longings. Paula began telling in 1991 at Bookcellars Café hosted by the late Brother Blue. She performed for First Night Celebrations. MA and NH Credits include Passims, Johnnycake Storytelling Festival, Rhode Island Storytelling Festival, Three Apples Storytelling Festival, American Story Theatre, Upper William Street Festival and Triworks Coffeehouse. She is a regular teller at Story Space and is happy to be among the other talented tellers at Cork Yarnspinners.

Enjoying Cape Clear Storytelling Festival 2019


Lizzie is our tech whizz and go-to expert for all things social media, Zoom, and WordPress. Originally from Austria, she developed a passion for Irish folklore and mythology during her time as an au pair in Cork and later as an Erasmus student at UCC. Unsurprisingly, she fell in love with the rebel county – how could you not?! – and became a self-proclaimed storytelling nerd. She joined the committee in 2017 and has worked and supported us on the digital marketing side of things until April 2022.

Our Regulars

Jim Hawkins

Jim Hawkins takes themes from Irish history, culture, and traditions. His repertoire includes Folktales, Myths & Legends, and personal stories of growing up in Westmeath, Ireland, and part of the Irish community in New York City. He was inspired by his uncle Jack Fallon who weaved tales of the local community. His story journey also includes his thirty-nine years as a teacher teaching literary works expounding on how the themes related to their own lives. His stories can be humourous and also quite serious.