Her great-grandmother told stories to her grandmother. Her grandmother told stories to her mother. Her mother told stories to her.
She is telling stories to the whole world
When Maria told her mother that she will work as a storyteller her mother didn’t understand her at first: “But everybody in Ireland is a storyteller.”
This self-perception is part of Maria’s genetic code
Together with an inexhaustible well of stories.
To walk with Maria through her hometown Cork
... you need far more than just one day. Partly, of course, because Cork is a beautiful and vibrant city. But mainly because Maria knows a story of nearly every corner and every house. Some of her stories may be family stories. Most of her stories – very impressively – talk of Irelands past and its way to the present.
Of course, Maria also has many huge bags full of stories around the beings and entities that are so famously at home in Ireland and about all those myths that are the bones of this island. In her telling you feel the deep connection with traditions. But at the same time there is room for the present. She is building precious bridges.
If you want to get a feel for Ireland
... then let Maria Gillen sow a few seeds into your soul.