About Batt
Batt Burns, an elementary school principal in the village of Sneem, on The Ring of Kerry, began a second career as a Seanachie ( storyteller ) after he had won The All-Ireland Teachers Talent Competition in Dublin in 1983.

Prior to that he had worked to make significant changes in the curriculum of Irish Primary Schools by his experimental work in Environmental Studies and this led him into writing a series of textbooks on this topic.

As a youth in the Kerry Hills, he was surrounded by storytellers, and he spent invaluable years with his storytelling grandfather, Michael Clifford.


In 1994 he gave up teaching and became a full time entertainer in the USA, where he has appeared at all of the major storytelling festivals including The National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough ( 1994 ), The Corn Island Festival in Kentucky, and The Timpanogos Festival in Orem, Utah.
He has performed at several US campuses including Notre Dame, Northwestern, Harvard, Boston College, Kent State ( where he was Storyteller in Residence in 1995 ) and John Hopkins in Baltimore. He has also taught courses on Irish Studies at several colleges over a span of twenty five years.


In October 2000 he was a featured teller at The Masterton Storytelling Festival in New Zealand and he worked in several primary schools. One of his most successful nights “ Down Under” was at The Irish Club in Auckland.

Irish Festivals

Burns has performed at Irish Festivals in Stonehill College, Boston, The Cleveland Irish Festival, The Dublin Ohio Festival and he was a regular at the big Milwaukee Irish Fest for many years. He has been guest of The Washington Storytellers’ Theatre at their annual festival and has entertained at The Kennedy Centre on St. Patrick’s Night in 2002.

  Conference Speaker

Burns was a keynote speaker at the annual meeting of Washington State Hospital at Yakima in October 1995 and was also a star performer at The Ann Arbor Folk Festival in 1996. He was a featured presenter at the CCIRA Literacy For A Lifetime conference in Denver in 1996 and at The Great Plains Reading Conference in Omaha, Nebraska in 1997.
  Radio and T.V appearances

Burns is a regular contributor to radio programmes in Ireland and is always to be heard in the USA during his many visits. He has appeared on Ireland’s most popular TV show “ The Late Late Show”, on Channel 4 in England and "Good Morning America".

Performances in Ireland

Burns has performed at concerts, cabarets, conferences and social gatherings all over Ireland and is a highly accomplished, witty and entertaining after-dinner speaker.