New book reimagines traditional local folk stories for new generations

New book reimagines traditional local folk stories for new generations

Thu, April 13, 2023

A new book of folk stories has been launched by local storyteller and musician Colin Urwin, in partnership with Causeway Coast and Glens Museum Services.

The Iron Hag and Other Stories from the Sam Henry Collection was produced as part of the Sam Henry: Connecting with the Past, Collecting for the Future project, funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund and administered by the Museums Association.

Sam Henry (1878-1952) is best known as a folklorist and recognised for his ‘Songs of the People’ series that ran in the Northern Constitution between 1923 and 1938. His work as a Pensions and Excise Officer allowed him to travel across the country, collecting songs and stories from the older generations, and, in doing so, has preserved local cultural traditions that otherwise may have been lost.

Rachel Archibald, Museum Officer said:

“Colin has taken a selection of traditional folk stories collected by Sam Henry and reimagined them, making them accessible to new generations. The stories, filled with humour, romance and battles fought in an Ancient Ireland, are based on locations across the North Coast, from Coleraine to Rathlin Island.”

The book is available free of charge and can be obtained from Ballycastle Museum, Ballymoney Museum, Green Lane Museum and Visitor Information Centres in Ballycastle, Ballymoney, Limavady, Portrush and Bushmills. A digital copy to download can be obtained from

Email for more information.

The Sam Henry Collection, held by Coleraine Museum, amounts to 15,000 objects which can be viewed on the Northern Ireland Community website at

Colin Urwin, storyteller, Rachel Archibald, Museum Officer, Eileen-Marie Emerson, illustrator and Gordon Craig, Sam Henry’s grandson. Colin Urwin, storyteller and musician Colin Urwin with his granddaughters