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Interview with Dr Kevin Danaher about his work with the Irish Folklore Commission in recording native Manx Gaelic speakers in the Isle of Man

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Date(s): 1984

Scope & Content: Dr Kevin Danaher talks to Manx Radio about his work with the Irish Folklore Commission. He talks about the Folklore of Ireland Society (1925-6), the Folklore Institute (1931-2) and the Irish Folklore Commission (1935); definition of ‘tradition’; Éamon de Valera’s visit to the Isle of Man (1947) and decision to record native Manx Gaelic speakers; his scholarship to study ethnology and folk tradition in Germany in the 1930s; appointment as a collector of the Irish Folklore Commission (1940) and his work from 1945 as a field-worker organising ethnological surveys and recording; building sound recording apparatus; 1948 journey of the recording van from Dublin to Douglas, Isle of Man and the Manx Museum where he was met by Basil Megaw (Director of the Manx Museum).

Kevin then recalls recording and speaking to Manx speakers in 1948 such as John Gell (Port St Mary), Bill Radcliffe (Ramsey), Leslie Quirk (Peel), Eric Cregeen, Ned Maddrell, John Tom Kaighen (‘blind man from north side of the island’), Harry Boyde, etc.; traditional stories told by the Manx speakers; similarities of the Manx ‘old people’ with those in Ireland; de Valera’s interest in the Manx sound recordings; work involved in making these ‘first good voice recordings made in the Isle of Man’.

He ends by talking about the Irish Folklore Commission (1970) with research material given to University College Dublin; folklore, tradition and ethnology taught in universities; importance of future fieldwork, interviewing and exposition in the Isle of Man on its people and traditions.

Administration / Biographical History: Dr Kevin Danaher (1913-2002) was an Irish folklorist and an Irish Folklore Commission officer.

Language: English

Extent: 30 min. 58 sec.

Item name: cassette tape

Collection: Sound Archive

Level: ITEM

ID number: SA 0209

Access conditions: All reasonable attempt has been made by Manx National Heritage to trace and request permission (where needed) from the copyright holder(s) in this sound recording. If however you think you are a rights holder then please contact Manx National Heritage.

Subject tags : #UOSH


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