24 January 2024, Ireland: The Cork Folklore Project are delighted to announce a performance event that brings together song, story and sustainability. Oral testimony on urban thrift in Cork City will be showcased, with renowned Traveller singer Thomas McCarthy, design historian Claudia Kinmonth, Paul Bolger from UCC’s Environmental Research Institute and other guests responding from their own varied perspectives.

The Circular Tales project is supported by the Science Foundation Ireland Discover Programme, and is organised in partnership with the Cork Traveller Women’s Network and the ERI.

James Furey, Circular Tales Project Coordinator: “We have been interviewing Traveller families, sustainability activists and Cork residents, and drawing on our interview archives, to bring together accounts of past and present ways of mending and making, acquiring and stretching resources. This rich material will be shared in the celebration event and through our online Cork Thrift Map.”

Clíona O’Carroll, project director: “We’re looking forward to seeing a broad mix of people at this free event in the Triskel Arts Centre, on Cork, Saturday 10th February, 2 to 4 PM. Bring your friends and your granny, your singing enthusiasts, your stitchers and your recyclers.”

Paul Bolger, Manager, Environmental Research Institute: “The development of a circular economy is a key goal of Irish Government policy. However we know that reuse, upcycling and thrift were part and parcel of Irish life in the past. Within Circular Tales, we are looking into the past to better understand the future for Ireland’s circular economy”

Eventbrite link:


Performers include

  • Thomas McCarthy - Traditional Singer
  • Claudia Kinmonth - Design / Furniture Historian, who will explore the inspiration of reuse, repair and sustainability in twentieth-century Ireland
  • Paul Bolger – Environmental Research Institute
  • Sustainability activists
  • The people of Cork through recorded oral testimony from the Cork Folklore Project's Sound Archive