Oein DeBhairduin is a writer, activist and educator with a passion for preserving the beauty of Traveller tales, sayings, retellings and historic exchanges. He is the author of the award-winning Why the moon travels and Traveller Culture Collections Development Officer with the National Museum of Ireland. He seeks to pair community activism with cultural celebration, recalling old tales with fresh modern connections and, most of all, he wishes to rekindle the hearth fires of a shared kinship.
Why The Moon Travels
Why the moon travels is a haunting collection of twenty tales rooted in the oral tradition of the Irish Traveller community. Brave vixens, prophetic owls and stalwart horses live alongside the human characters as guides, protectors, friends and foes while spirits, giants and fairies blur the lines between this world and the otherworld. Collected by Oein DeBhairduin throughout his childhood, retold in his lyrical style, and beautifully illustrated by Leanne McDonagh. Why the moon travels won both the Judges’ Special Award and the Eilís Dillon Award at the 2021 KPMG Children’s Books Ireland Awards.
‘A truly important book. Manages somehow to embody in the same breath the dazzling philosophy of the Pavee and the powerful poetry in their stories. Oein DeBhairduin’s lovely introductions are passionate and beautifully written in their own right, and his versions of these vivid stories are extraordinary and deeply affecting. The whole enterprise is both personal and universal and also marks the debut of a true writer.’
‘The human world and the natural world, myth, folklore, kindness and cruelty combine in DeBhairduin’s skilful and vivid collection, and the reader is left with a deep sense of the power of story, and of love in the life of a child.’
‘Many of the old tales have slipped from the campfire circle to sleep forever with the tellers. Here then, is a rare collection of original gems, nourished and nurtured from the pen of a Mincéir.’