A robin with a tin whistle, a goat with a guitar and an uilleann piper called Tigerlily. These are just some of the things you can expect to hear on a new Irish language audio story for children aged 6 and under which will be launched on RTÉjr Radio on St Patrick’s Day.
‘An Flóta le Cóta’ is the first in a series of four ‘readalong’ bedtime stories from Wexford which will be broadcast on RTÉjr Radio at 11.30am and 4.30pm on St Patrick’s Day. The podcast will then be available via the RTÉjr Podcast.
Featuring the voices of Wexford actors Cory Ó Brollacháin and Heather Hadrill, the story follows drummer Gínie (Heather Hadrill) as she marches with pipe band Na Seamróga for the first time in Wexford on St Patrick’s Day.
Excitement is high as President Michael D Higgins is due to attend but so too is the wind and when a storm shows up, it threatens everyone’s big day.
Writer and director Alison Ní Mháirtín said: “St Patrick’s Day is a day full of drama, excitement and music so we wanted to try and capture some of that atmosphere in an Irish language audio story that children and parents would enjoy for Seachtain na Gaeilge and beyond.”
Music on the recording is provided by uilleann piper Tigerlily Keoghan, who plays with the New Ross & District Pipe Band in addition to her work as a solo musician.
Alison added: “Listeners can expect some recognisable tunes and one very recognisable voice too.”
Each story in the ‘Scéalta Draíochta’ series will feature supplementary material downloadable from the RTÉjr Radio website close to the story’s launch date. This will include the text in Irish, phonetics and English so that parents and caregivers new to the Irish language can read along with their children. There will also be a downloadable activity sheet.
Alison continued: “We have three more stories to come – midsummer, Hallowe’en and Christmas – including cave adventures, a haunted Hook lighthouse and an audio Advent calendar. An audio story can transport listeners from anywhere in the world to the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Wexford so we hope listeners will join Gínie on her travels.”
Jonathan Weatherill-Hunt was on sound design and engineering with effects from Lee Hynes and raw edit by Stephen Rooney.
The story is written, directed and produced by Alison Ní Mháirtín with support from broadcast partner RTÉjr Radio, The Arts Council (Agility Award), Seachtain na Gaeilge, the National Opera House, Lee Hynes and South East Radio, and Éamonn Ó Dónaill. Alison would also like to acknowledge the self-producing support of Heather Rose (Super Paua) and dramaturgical support of Mark Ball.