Curation & Interpretative Design
Turtle Bunbury Histories designs and curates historical and cultural heritage exhibitions on behalf of corporate, public and private clients. Turtle is presently working with Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail) and illustrator Derry Dillon to complete 100 history panels for 100 Irish railway stations over the course of 2024.
He has devised podcasts and interpretive design projects for Maxol, Waterways Ireland, Guinness and LeisureWorld (St Peter’s Church, Cork City). He has also worked closely with Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland (Ireland’s Ancient East, Cork Harbour), TellTale UK (Avondale House, County Wicklow) and Brown-Forman (Slane Whiskey).
He frequently supplies historical content for exhibitions and advertising campaigns. Other past clients include Flahavan’s, Pernod-Ricard (Jameson), Irish Whiskey Assets, Walsh Whiskey, Waterford Whiskey, Weir and Sons (jeweller) and Maxmedia.
Irish Rail / Iarnród Éireann – Past Tracks, 2024
In 2019, Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail) unveiled its first Past Tracks panel at Athy railway station in County Kildare. By March 2022, there were 50 panels in place at stations across Ireland. By the summer of 2024, there will be 100.
Each panel tells 5 or 6 lesser-known stories about the locality around each station, written in both English and Irish. The purpose is simply to brighten the day of the general commuter.
Written and researched by Turtle, and illustrated by Derry Dillon, the ‘Past Tracks’ panels offer snapshots of history about lesser-known people, places and events connected with Ireland’s rich past. Samples can be viewed here.
‘History should never just be boring old dates dates dates,’ says Turtle. ‘It should be full of the vibrancy and personality and passion of the people who have gone before. In Ireland, we are surrounded by incredible stories from the past. With these panels, so gorgeously illustrated by Derry, my aim is to home in on tales that are unusual yet upbeat, fascinating but inspiring.’
“It is delightful to see history being brought to life in this accessible way and congrats to Irish Rail on the initiative. There are many places churches, libraries, civic buildings, theatres and so on where we want to know the back story and how it came to there. Let’s hope other organisations take up on Turtle’s Histories!” – David Caldwell, Wo Media.
Maxol Community & Culture Panels
In 2023, Turtle teamed up with illustrator Derry Dillon to produce history panels for the Maxol service stations in Turvey, Kinnegar, Kilkenny, Navan and Portrush. Each panel tells 4 or 5 short stories about the locality, aimed at enlightening the reader while they wait.
As well as his ongoing, award-winning podcast series ‘Waterways Through Time‘, Turtle provided the historical content for ‘Reflections: The Lasting Legacy of Our Waterways’, an exhibition hosted by Waterways Ireland at the 2018 World Canals Conference in Athlone.
He also supplied the information on a remarkable diving suit for a Waterways Ireland exhibition in Scarriff, County Clare in 2019, and the history of the Lough Allen Canal for an online exhibition in 2021.
‘Turtle’s ability to transform what can sometimes be considered quite ‘dry’ material into engaging and informative content was amazing and without a doubt made our exhibition a success … His work is always a joy to read.’
‘In 2023, Aviva Stadium engaged Turtle Bunbury Histories in relation to a presentation for a staff member on retirement. Our expectations were exceeded, and the finished product was amazing. We thoroughly enjoyed dealing with Ally and Turtle and found the entire process to be professional, with excellent communication throughout’.
Vincent Murphy, Finance Director
Film Script & Direction
City by the Sea
Since 2016, Turtle has curated three back-to-back exhibitions for St Peter’s Church, Cork.
The first exhibition was entitled ‘City by the Sea’ and was designed to highlight the connection between Cork City and Cork Harbour. A short preview of the exhibition can be viewed here.
This was followed by two more exhibitions homing in on Cork’s experiences during the First World War and the Irish Revolution.
Highlights of the exhibition were frequently posted on social media while it also included a short film entitled ‘Cork 1918‘.
‘City by the Sea’ went on show at Cork Airport in 2020.
‘It was a pleasure working with Turtle from the early stages of project planning to the delivery on our launch night. He was professional, accessible, 100% reliable, easy to talk to and generous with advice and experience. His team worked tirelessly to ensure the visual delivery and content exceeded our expectations.’
Testimonials - Tourism Collaboration
Turtle worked closely with Fáilte Ireland‘s campaign to promote Ireland’s Ancient East, gathering facts and delivering talks on castles, churches, battles and chieftains. He also gave a series of workshops with his colleagues at the Hidden Story.
‘Turtle’s work meant our strategy was built on strong foundations. He combines research and communication skills with an excellent understanding of how to make the past compelling, especially to non-specialist audiences. He is a first class presenter, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and humorous. His condensed rollicking and brilliantly illustrated version of the complexity of Cork’s marine heritage and its contemporary relevance was important in demonstrating its value and potential to stakeholders.’
‘Turtle has managed to massage the modern curiosity of celebrity, scandal, rogues and nostalgia into …. something utterly unique in the online world: it makes history, and genealogy, cool. He is a walking encyclopedia of the kind of information that gets people curious. His stories are bait for anyone keen on Ireland as somewhere to visit.’
Turtle has worked with the Hidden Story, providing consultancy services to tourism businesses and communities, including storytelling training, destination development and mentoring.
Projects include a tourism destination feasibility study in the Lingaun Valley region with Kilkenny LEADER Partnership, storytelling workshops for Wexford County Council and consultancy work for First Western and Fáilte Ireland with clients such as Mosse Pottery.
Testimonials - Distilling Knowledge
Turtle has collaborated with Walsh Whiskey on numerous occasions, including the Global Irish podcast series, the opening of the Holloden distillery, a Facebook LIVE Fireside Whiskey & Chat, and the launch of Legacy in 2023.
Brown-Forman commissioned Turtle to research the history of Slane Castle, along with a history of distilling and malting in the surrounding region.
Pernod-Ricard commissioned Turtle to research the history of the Jameson family, creators of one of the world’s favourite Irish whiskeys.
Turtle was commissioned to research the origins of Minch Norton, Ireland’s oldest and largest malt producer for the brewing and distilling industry.
Turtle was commissioned by 1751 to research the history of distilling in Ireland for both Slane Whiskey and Walsh’s Whiskey.
How and where a barley crop is grown is an integral part of Waterford Distillery’s identity. Turtle provided the histories of these farms, unearthing many stories of national and international significance.
‘We are delighted with Turtle’s work. Just what we were looking for.’
Irish Whiskey Assets Limited