A storyteller from Columbus is to bring to life Irish tales during a program in Tiffin next week.
Author Michael O'Malley is to offer the last program in Frost-Kalnow/National Machinery International Cultural Center's "Celebrating Ireland" series. He is to speak at 10:45 a.m. Monday at Allen Eiry Senior Center, 28 Hopewell Ave. The event is free.
According to his website, O'Malley tells Irish folk and fairy tales, stories about his travels in Ireland and family stories from his heritage.
O'Malley said he doesn't think he ever has told stories in Tiffin. He is based in Columbus and travels throughout Ohio and the surrounding states.
He said his ancestors are from Ireland, and he always has been interested in his ethnic heritage. He lived and worked in Ireland, where he picked up an accent, in the 1980s, and became a full-time storyteller in 1995.
He said he shares traditional tales and family and travel stories. Storytelling was a big part of life in Ireland until the early 1900s, he said.
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"Folklorists recorded a lot of those stories in books," he said.
O'Malley said he returned to Ireland, where there is a strong effort to collect old stories, in 2004 to do research about some of the stories he tells. For example, he tells a story about a cave and spent time in the cave in Ireland. Also, he tells a story that takes place in a castle, and he visited the castle's ruins.
O'Malley also has stories about his family. He said his father had wit and the playfulness of old Irish storytellers.
"I have stories of my grandma," he said. "My grandma was the youngest of eight children born to Irish immigrants."