The July 2017 Person of The Month is Mary Walsh

We would like to nominate Mary Walsh for Blarney person of the month. Mary is responsible for the birth of a new storytelling community called the ‘The Gab’, a community of storytellers and story lovers based in Blarney, who meet once a month for the Gab Mixtape; a night of poetry, song and story. The first Mixtape was held in June 2016 and from there it has evolved through each monthly meeting to a vibrant and powerful story-based exchange of ideas, culture and energy. While ‘The Gab’ may have been born in Blarney, the tellers and listeners come from all over the world; they share their stories and song, creating a truly modern blended storytelling family. Fully committed to the art of story, ‘The Gab’ has hosted workshops by famous storytellers Pat Speight and Liz Weir, giving all tellers and potential tellers the opportunity to hone their craft under an experienced hand. Building on learning and exploring the boundaries, there was a storytelling competition in Blarney at the end of April as part of the launch of The Old Butter Roads Food Trail. In June, Brand Blarney asked ‘The Gab’ to take part in the Blarney Historic Map launch and The Cork Midsummer Festival invited ‘The Gab’ to take part in the Crosstown Drift in Nano Nagle Place. All of these are a testament to the huge success of ‘The Gab’ and to the hard work Mary does quietly behind the scenes supported by her growing team of ‘Gabbers’. Mary has organised events in local businesses including AlphaSud car wash in Blarney, outdoor summer events at The Old Post Office café and a wonderful Christmas Special in the Church of Ireland Church in Blarney where there was a collection on the night for Cope Foundation and Dogs for the Disabled. All of this with no reward only the satisfaction of seeing others entertaining and entertained by the art of storytelling. It is a huge achievement that Mary’s brainchild continues to draw large crowds, not only providing good healthy entertainment to the masses but also providing a platform for story tellers new and old to shine. We think Mary deserves recognition for this contribution to Blarney life and culture.