Founder & Artistic Director of Moth & Butterfly, Órla Mc Govern is an award-winning Storyteller, performer and writer based in The West of Ireland. She performs, tells stories and leads workshops at venues small and large around the world. Her plays have been produced globally and she has written two books of stories ‘Dublin Folk Tales For Children’ & ‘Wild Waves & Wishing Wells’ (The History Press). She is a member of Galway collective Theatre 57 and of the Connemara Collective Interface Inagh. As well as theatre performance she acts for film and TV. Some credits include ‘Stay’, ‘Lily’, Sanctuary, and ‘North Circular Road’. She is a member of Ohana, the European Collective of Improvisors, and she loves to swim in the sea!

You can catch Órla throughout the festival, telling at the Moth & Butterfly Flagship event ‘Stirring the Pot’ on Saturday and at The Big Story Circle on Sunday night.


Niceol Blue is a storyteller in song, and in spoken and written word. A singer, songwriter, writer, improviser and storyteller, Niceol grew up in Pacific Northwest, an environment that shaped her performance styles. She has performed to audience acclaim all around the US and Ireland. Niceol is a published poet and writer, and her music has been described as “exceptional songs and powerful vocals”. Niceol is a founding member of Moth and Butterfly Storytelling, and fronts several bands and music projects in and around Galway. She is also a founding member of The Sky Babies, Galway’s only professional improv troupe, for whom she helps shape environments through light and sound. Niceol is thrilled to be a part of Moth and Butterfly, and will be working both behind the scenes, as well as telling in front of the camera.

You can catch Niceol throughout the festival, telling at the Moth & Butterfly Flagship event ‘Stirring the Pot’ on Saturday and at The Big Story Circle on Sunday night.


Aoife is Festival Producer for the Moth & Butterfly Festival.

Aoife is a senior marketing and communications professional and arts advocate with over 20 year’s strategic and operational experience in the national cultural and heritage sector. She has a proven track record of developing and implementing creative and engaging marketing, communications and PR campaigns across all media channels and arts projects. She has excellent communications skills and is results focussed with proven ability to manage multiple projects and demands. Aoife has worked as Marketing and Communications Manager in Mermaid County Wicklow Arts Centre since 2007 where she has curated and organised the annual YARN Storytelling Festival for the past 12 years. Aoife is a voluntary committee member of both Storytellers of Ireland and of the Cape Clear International Storytelling Festival. 


Sorcha is advisor to the Moth & Butterfly Festival.

Sorcha is a theatre, festival, and project producer from Dublin. Currently Projects Coordinator with Axis Ballymun where she is project manager of BeLong | Bí Ann, an online project in collaboration with the Dublin City Libraries. Previously, Sorcha was Artistic Director with Galway Theatre Festival and has worked with Ballybunion Arts Festival and Galway County Council. An erstwhile academic, Sorcha has an MA in Theatre & Drama from NUIG, focusing on historically neglected women playwrights. She has an interest in all things theatre, literature, intersectional feminism and beekeeping! 


We are delighted to bring you an array of wonderful tellers,
performers and artists from around the world for our 2023 Festival!


Joe Bill is widely regarded as one of the best teachers of Scenic and Comedic Improvisation in America today.  He is one of the founding members of Annoyance Theatre. He was the Director of Corporate Training at iO Chicago for 15 years and a Teacher & Guest Artist in Residence at The Second City Conservatory & Training Center for another 15 years. Joe first learned Improvisation and in 1977 studied and worked with Del Close from 1985 through the mid 90’s. He performs with numerous group sand partners, with folks like Mark Sutton (Bassprov), Jill Bernard (Scram!), Patti Stiles(Our Play) Heather Urquhart (Blues Hammer) and many more. He has played as a guest in Play Unscripted and Le Roundabout with ImproTheatre L.A., Grand Theft Impro at Impro Melbourne (Australia), The Scene at The PIT in New York City and UCB in L.A., with Let’s Have A Ball and ASSSSCAT 3000 at UCB Theater in New York & L.A. and with Kornfeld & Andrews at Magnet Theater in New York City. He has performed, directed, taught and served as an Artistic Adviser for a number of Improvisation/Comedy Theaters & Festivals on every continent except Antarctica (but he’s working on that!)and at every major Improv Festival in The United States.

Joe will be leading The Story Chain on Sunday.


Catherine Brophy is a writer, storyteller and broadcaster, and she also facilitates workshops.   She leads a blameless life in Ireland but travels whenever she can.   She’s been rescued by a circus troupe in Serbia, had breakfast with a Zambian chief, ate camel stew in the Sahara, and was kicked by a horse on the Mexican plain.   Yeah…she has a couple of stories to tell.

*Unfortunately, due to illness, Catherine won’t be joining us for the festival. We wish her a speedy recovery, and look forward to welcoming her back to Moth & Butterfly very soon.

Maria Credali

Maria takes traditional tales and makes them her own, breathing life into characters and taking the listener on journeys of magic and myth. She has a warm and engaging, humorous style which is well suited to sharing story secrets with her audiences. Whether she is telling tales at festivals, on boats, trams, in castles or just by the fire, she will leave you with a warm heart and smile on your face.
Recent work includes commissions for The Royal Shakespeare Company, Marrakech International Storytelling Festival, Whitby Folk Week and Listowel Storytelling festival. Maria is storyteller in residence at Tamworth Castle.

Catch Maria telling Stories for Children at the Galway City Library on Friday, and at The Big Story Circle on Sunday night.

“Beautiful storytelling, so warm hearted and gentle…loved it”


Rab Fulton is an accomplished storyteller and writer based in Galway, Ireland. He is the author of a number of folk tales books (published by The History Press) and a podcaster and blogger. Rab works as a storyteller in education and hosts a regular storytelling event at The Crane Bar, Galway.

“An excellent combustible of ancient storytelling tradition with compassionate humanity and humorous.” 

Rab will be joining us as a guest in The Big Story Circle on Sunday night.


(Jessamyn Fairfield & Jessica Keith)

Jessamyn Fairfield is from Los Alamos, New Mexico and is now based in Galway with her husband and son. She has been creating improvised theatre and comedy since 2013 at shows and festivals across Ireland and the UK. As a standup comedian, she has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe and across the Irish circuit, and created a solo show in 2016 which was described by the Irish Examiner as ‘seriously smart and seriously funny’. Jessamyn is also the founding director and MC of Bright Club Ireland, a platform combining research with stand-up comedy that has hosted over 100 live shows as well as a YouTube channel and podcast You’re Up Next.

Jessica Keith is originally from the Chicago suburbs and now resides in Kildare with her husband and daughter. She holds an M.Phil in Theatre and Performance from Trinity College Dublin and a B.A. in Acting and Directing from DePaul University. She has been performing improvised comedy and theatre since 2013, and currently performs as one half of The Jess’s’s’s, as well as with the improv team TINY. In 2021 she founded GATHER Improv Festival, a boutique festival celebrating improvised theatre and comedy in Ireland.

Catch The Jess’ss’ss in their show ‘Parenthetical’ on Friday night!


A selection of audio stories and conversations recorded with local artists, discussing their practice, and their connection to the landscape of Connemara. 

You can read more about the artists involved in Land of Stories here.


As Ros a’ Mhíl do Mháirín Mhic Lochlainn! She tells stories in Irish and English, in the traditional way – the way her father used to tell them sitting by the fireside on the long winter nights of her youth!Siad na scèalta fiannaíochta is fearr le Máirín – the long sagas about the King of Ireland’s son, getting the better of An Fathach Mòr in the land of the east; stories that would take 3 or4 nights to tell! Màirín also has a lot of local stories, about all sort of things, ar nòs Conàn Maol agus An Chaileach; or The Eel who lived in Loch Coraib; or the Fairies in Àill na Graoi!She had told stories as far away as New Zealand, where the Māoris tell stories not unlike the Irish Stories! Sure stories have been travelling since the beginning of time, agus ho fada mar sin an scèal!

Catch Màirín telling Stories for Children at the Galway City Library on Friday, at the Moth and Butterfly Flagship Event ‘Stirring the Pot‘ on Saturday, and at The Big Story Circle on Sunday night.


Clare Murphy started as a storyteller in Galway 2006 during Project ’06.  She has been telling stories since then on stages all over the world including The Globe Theatre London, Open Eye Theatre Minneapolis, and Fabula Festival Sweden.  She tells all kinds of stories to all ages from myths to fables, to history and science.  She has performed for all kinds of people including President Mary Robinson, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Her festivals include Cape Clear Festival Ireland, Beyond the Border Wales, National Storytelling Festival Jonesborough USA, Alden Biesen Storytelling Festival Belgium and many others. 

“Clare Muireann Murphy’s beautiful lilting voice was in stark contrast to the darkly humorous stories she told us, and her first-rate comic physicality only served to enhance her storytelling.”  ~Everything Theatre

You can catch Clare telling at the Moth and Butterfly Flagship event ‘Stirring the Pot’, her Solo Show on Sunday evening and at The Big Story Circle on Sunday night.


Jackie Roantree is a dubliner living in the west of Ireland for 30 years. Her performance path started as a teen in the Dublin youth theatre and onwards to New York and London before joining Macnas in 1990. She then ran away with a sailor and lived on Inis Mór with her 2 children painting the landscape and working with community arts. She lives between there and galway where she has been involved in performance and improv and is currently doing a degree in contemporary art. Jackie has been involved with Moth & Butterfly for almost a decade telling her stories and improvising. She is delighted and excited to be part of the festival again this year.

Catch Jackie at the Moth and Butterfly Flagship Event ‘Stirring the Pot’ on Saturday!


Colin Urwin is a professional singer, songwriter and storyteller. He hails from the Glens of Antrim in the northeast of Ireland and has been mainly influenced by traditional Irish and Scottish music. In recent years Colin has been working closely with the world renowned storyteller Liz Weir MBE on a variety of exciting live, virtual and recording projects. Colin is regularly invited to sing and tell at local storytelling venues, schools and community groups and has also performed at the Glens Storytelling Festival.

Colin will be giving his workshop on Saturday afternoon, telling at the Moth and Butterfly Flagship Event ‘Stirring the Pot’ on Saturday and at The Big Story Circle on Sunday night.


Liz Weir is a County Antrim-born storyteller with an international reputation, built up over almost five decades.  She is drawn to telling folktales often featuring ghosts and magic, but has a wide repertoire which also includes personal stories, yarns and monologues. Liz is Storyteller in Residence for the Armstrong Storytelling Trust and Director of the Glens Storytelling Festival. 

Liz will be telling Tales of Mischief and Magic at Oranmore Library Friday afternoon, at the Moth and Butterfly Flagship Event ‘Stirring the Pot‘ on Saturday and at The Big Story Circle on Sunday night.

The Moth & Butterfly International Festival of Storytelling and Improvisation is supported by The Arts Council of Ireland and by The Galway City Council.