Curation & Interpretative Design
Turtle curates historical and cultural heritage exhibitions on behalf of corporate, public and private clients. In March 2022, his 50th ‘Past Tracks’ history panel was unveiled at an Irish railway station, following a four year collaboration with Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail) and illustrator Derry Dillon.
He has also worked closely on interpretive design projects with Maxol, Waterways Ireland, Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland (Ireland’s Ancient East, Cork Harbour), LeisureWorld (St Peter’s Church), TellTale UK (Avondale House in County Wicklow) and Brown-Forman (Slane Whiskey).
He frequently supplies historical content for exhibitions and advertising campaigns. Other clients include Guinness, Flahavan’s, Pernod-Ricard (Jameson), Irish Whiskey Assets, Illva Saronno / 1751 (Royal Oak Distillery), Waterford Whiskey (Mark Reynier), Weir ‘s (jeweller) and Maxmedia.
Past Tracks 2022
Between 2019 and 2022, Turtle created a series of 50 history panels for Irish Rail. Each panel tells lesser-known stories about the locality around 50 railway stations around Ireland. The purpose of the text and images is to brighten the day of the general commuter.
Written and researched by Turtle, and beautifully illustrated by Derry Dillon, ‘Past Tracks’ puts history back in focus through the medium of 300 short stories about lesser-known people, places and events connected with Ireland’s rich past. Samples from the panels 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 has been to recount some of those stories, homing 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.
As well as his 2022 podcast series ‘Waterways Through Time‘, Turtle provided the historical content for ‘Reflections: The Lasting Legacy of Our Waterways’, an exhibition hosted by Waterways Ireland at the 2018 World Canals Conference in Athlone.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.’
Marketing & Communications
Film Script & Direction
City by the Sea
Turtle curated three back-to-back exhibitions for St Peter’s Church, Cork, and, subsequently, Cork Airport, between 2016 and 2020.
The first exhibition was entitled ‘City by the Sea’ and was designed to highlight the connection between Cork City and Cork Harbour. This was followed by two more exhibitions homing in on Cork’s experiences during the era of 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.
‘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.’
Eileen O’Shea, Programme & Events Manager, St Peter’s Cork
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
Pernod-Ricard commissioned Turtle to research the history of the Jameson family, creators of one of the world’s favourite Irish whiskeys.
Brown-Forman commissioned Turtle to research the history of Slane Castle, along with a history of distilling and malting in the surrounding region.
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