Ghost stories galore on Inch island
30th October 2013: Five years ago this very evening, I was lucky enough to meet Bertie Brice in his house in Inch Island, Inishowen, County Donegal. Dermot McLaughlin (pictured above in glasses with Bertie) brought me along to the immaculately-kept house that widower Bertie lived in. From the off, weird and wonderful stories flowed from Bertie. For the week that is in it, I am playing a sample of some of the scarier stories he told us – tales of poltergeists, fairies, phantasms, levitations and witchcraft no less. Beat that for a Hallowe’en ghostfest!
I sadly learned of Bertie’s death earlier this week from his good friend, Dermot. I hope when you listen to his tales, you’ll appreciate the wonderful talent that he had and maybe agree the preservation of these tales will in some small way ensure his massive contribution to storytelling as an art form lives on. His turn of phrase, his innate timing, his devilish sense of humour, his mischief – it is all there to behold. I’d just met the man and there he was telling me these great stories like I was an old friend. I had to keep my laughing down to a Muttley-like wheeze, but Dermot is the perfect foil for Bertie’s banter. I remember that night like it was yesterday and find it hard that the great storyteller is gone and that five years passed in the blink of an eye.