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Meet the Project Founder - Dr Angela Maye-Banbury

Angela Maye-Banbury, Project Director

'Achill Oral Histories' is  led by Dr Angela Maye-Banbury MSc PhD SFHEA FCIH. Angela has worked  is an oral historian for some thirty years specialising in people and place. Angela is a great admirer of Achill Island, the Achill people and the island's unique history. Achill Oral Histories is Angela's way of giving back to the Achill people  so that the island's unique stories may be protected for present and future generations.

Born in Tyrone, Angela has been a regular visitor to Achill since she was a girl.  She first visited Achill aged 11 on a family holiday and fell in love with the island. Angela remained a great admirer of Achill, the Achill people and the Achill landscape.She has remained captivated by Achill ever since.Angela's mother, Teresa Donaghy (originally from Clogher, Tyrone) married Alexander Maye (farmer and haulage contractor whose main business was with Bord na Móna. Angela was a pupil at St Joseph's Convent Donaghmore Co Tyrone until she was 18. She studied at De Montfort University, Leicester. Her love of people, place and untold stories of unsung heroes led her to oral history. She conducted her first oral history interview aged 19 as part of her sociology degree. She has remained committed to oral history ever since as a way of telling real stories about real people lives.


Angela uses oral history extensively in her research and teaching in Ireland, the UK and in other countries. Since 2006, Angela has worked  as Principal Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University specialising in people, memory and place.  She is a member of the national steering group of the Oral History Network of Ireland.  She  is also a member of the British Oral History Society. 

Speaking about Achill Oral Histories, Angela said:

"Achill is a tremendously special place to me I fell in love with Achill the first time I came here when I was 11 years old. Its rich history, its wonderful people and its unique spirit and soul make it highly distinctive. Yet stories of Achill life as told by the Achill people risk being lost unless they are documented. That's where Achill Oral Histories comes in. The project will work with the local community in capturing tales of life on Achill life. There are so many unsung heroes on Achill. I feel  deeply privileged be part of something which makes these stories become alive and accessible to a much wider audience."

In her spare time, Angela loves cycling  and walking in the country side. with her husband Stuart and son Tom. She loves reading and listening to music. A great lover of Irish traditional music, she plays the tin whistle, guitar and bodhran. She also plays mandolin and cello. She is also a classic VW Beetle enthusiast and owns a blue 1971 Beetle called Ollie.

Find our more about Angela Maye-Banbury, her oral history work and research/scholarship activities.

An Achill Christmas Read  Angela's  festive journey through Achill written as part of the 'To Be Irish At Christmas' initiative 2021 funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs. 

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