“Story bud?”


Two men walk into a bar. “Story bud?” says Tom. “Story bud?” says Andy.

They’re old classmates from Trinity where they studied Film and English together and have not seen each other since their student days. After college both men lived abroad for a few years. Andrew Flaherty and Tom Rowley, both in their twenties, freelanced in film around Europe. In 2011, both are back in Dublin, they chat about their hometown. They love their capital city, even though economically she is going through a hard time. They want to do her justice. So they start to collect all the appealing stories that Dubliners have to tell about this fair metropolis. Using their film skills they go out onto the streets to meet the locals and hear their stories.

They film Dubliners telling a story about a particular location. For example, comedian Conor O’Toole weaves a funny anecdote on how Turleyhide whales beached in Ringsend on 24th June 1331. There was a famine in Dublin at the time and the locals ate the whales which saved many people from starvation. Tom from Storymap told us, “The area is recorded in the annals of Dublin as being saved from the famine by the whales and Joyce references the Turleyhides in Ulysses”. You will have to go to Storymap for the full account. Tom and Andy also collect accounts about infamous Dublin characters such as Patrick Kavanagh. Brendan Lynch tells us about the “legendary cranky poet” and the night he was thrown into the Grand Canal.

Tom and Andy wanted to share these captivating and enthralling tales, so they developed Storymap where all the anecdotes are collated together, “like one big pub” where the swapping of stories is the mainstay of the conversation. Storymap is available on a website, but also as an application for the iPhone and Android. They now have 88 chronicles broadcast over high quality audio or high-definition video on the application and the website has slightly more tales, offering up to 90 stories. Jamie Osler and Eoin Rogers, both former DIT students, assisted with the technology side of the application development. You can watch the video stories at home or if you are out and about in the city, the app can send you an alert when you are near a locality with a story, so you will be entertained along your route. Tom and Andy add a narrative each week, so the site and app are forever expanding.

Tom and Andy have great plans for Storymap and at the moment they are working on a new application with Dublin UNESCO City of Literature to offer 20 literary narratives on Dublin. They are also engaged with Fáilte Ireland for the Dubliner project. Dubliner is a tourist trail from Trinity College to Kilmainham. Storymap will collate the relevant stories along this route to promote places of interest to visit.

Do you have a captivating saga to tell about a Dublin location or legend about a Dublin character to divulge? Contact Tom and Andy and tell them your tale about our locals and your locality.

www.storymap.ie, Twitter: @storymapdublin, Facebook: Storymap
Storymap App: Apple App Store (€2.69) and Google Play (€2.69).

By Tracy O’Brien