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Please be advised that the Consulate General of Ireland, Manchester website has moved and this page is no longer being updated. The Consulate website is now available at Ireland.ie/manchester.

Pat the Hat – Mother Language Day

To promote and celebrate International Mother Language Day (21 February) the Consulate General was delighted to arrange a visit by a Seanchaí (traditional Irish storyteller) to perform a number of storytelling sessions (mainly in English but with Irish language used as well) for children at public libraries and in schools.


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‌Pat Speight (Pat the Hat - Storyteller Seanchai Scealai Pat Speight ) is a Seanchaí from Cork.  Pat performed eight sessions over four days in Liverpool, Manchester, Bradford, and a school in Lancashire.

First up was a visit to Liverpool Central Library on Friday 17 February where Pat performed two story telling sessions in the children’s space. (Storytelling is also available for adults in Liverpool with Liverpool Libraries teaming up with the Institute of Irish Studies for interactive storytelling workshops run by multi award winning Storyteller and Seanchaí Maria Buckley Whatton.)

‌In Manchester on Saturday 18 February the Consulate worked with Manchester Central Library and arranged a story telling session for children as part of the Library’s Family Film Club with Pat the Hat’s storytelling session followed by the film Song of the Sea by Cartoon Saloon.

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The Consulate also presented gifts of a collection of Irish language children’s books to both the Manchester and Liverpool Central libraries – so if you missed the storytelling, you can still introduce some Irish language to your children with these books now available to borrow.

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In Bradford on Sunday 19 February, Pat performed a story telling session as part of the bi-monthly Bradford Irish Trad Sessions run by Bradford Irish Society.  The storytelling session brought a welcome new activity to their repertoire.  

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Finally it was time for some storytelling at school. The Consulate worked with Lancashire County Council’s Heritage Learning to arrange for Pat to visit Hapton CE/Methodist Primary School in Accrington. This was a welcome addition to the Council’s Storytelling Festival which takes place 20 – 30 March.

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We greatly enjoyed having Pat the Hat visit and hearing his tales of Animals and Birds, Kings and Warriors, Saints and Sinners, Witches and Magicians, Pickpockets and Ghosts, Fairies and Mermaids and Mythical, Mystical characters.


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