Curation & Interpretative Design
Turtle has considerable experience in curating historical exhibitions on behalf of corporate, public and private clients. He has worked closely on interpretive design projects with Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail), Maxol, Waterways Ireland and Fáilte Ireland (Ireland’s Ancient East, Cork Harbour), as well as LeisureWorld (St Peter’s Church), TellTale UK (Avondale House in County Wicklow) and Brown-Forman (Slane Whiskey).
He frequently supplies meticulously researched content for exhibitions and advertising campaigns. His clients include Flahavan’s, Pernod-Ricard (Jameson), Irish Whiskey Assets, Illva Saronno / 1751 (Royal Oak Distillery), Waterford Whiskey (Mark Reynier), Weir ‘s (jeweller) and Maxmedia.
He has been engaged in public history for at least twenty years and has a substantial following on social media through his Vanishing Ireland Facebook group (153K members) and Turtle Bunbury Irish Histories Facebook page.
Turtle co-founded and curated the History Festival of Ireland in 2011 and 2012. The event was subsumed into the annual Festival of Writing and Ideas at Borris House, County Carlow, at which Turtle is a regular speaker.
Turtle is engaged in an ongoing collaboration with Irish Rail, for whom Turtle created a series of 50 history panels. 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.
We provided the historical content for ‘Reflections: The Lasting Legacy of Our Waterways’, an exhibition hosted by Waterways Ireland at the 2018 World Canals Conference in Athlone. We 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 is presently working with Waterways Ireland on a podcast series to air in early 2022.
Film Script & Direction
City by the Sea
Turtle curated back-to-back exhibitions for St Peter’s Church, Cork, and, subsequently, Cork Airport, between 2016 and 2020. The initial 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.
Testimonials – Tourism Collaboration
‘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
‘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. We’d be happy to recommend Turtle to our industry colleagues. We would certainly work with him in the future.’
Programme & Events Manager
St Peter’s Cork
‘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.’
We have been working closely with Fáilte Ireland‘s campaign to promote Ireland’s Ancient East, gathering facts and delivering talks on castles, churches, battles and chieftains. He has also given a series of workshops with his colleagues at the Hidden Story.
Projects include a tourism destination feasibility study in the Lingaun Valley region with Kilkenny LEADER Partnership, storytelling workshops for Wexford County Council and ongoing consultancy work for First Western and Fáilte Ireland with clients such as Mosse Pottery.
‘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.’
Testimonials – Distilling Knowledge
We were 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
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.