Life Story

We interview and record the life story of your precious family members to be enjoyed and shared for generations to come.

Life Story is the ultimate gift for Christmas, an Anniversary or Birthday celebration.

With his expert knowledge of Irish history, Turtle Bunbury gently guides interviewees from childhood to the present day, capturing the important milestones and memories for each family to treasure.

Let us do the work for you.

Interviews are recorded remotely and presented in audio.

Life Story Interview (including pre-interview research, editing and sound polish, presented as an MP3 recording).

Frequently Asked Questions

Why can’t I just interview and record my older family members record an interview myself?

9 out of 10 times people say they’ll sit down and record the stories of family members but they forget to or it’s just too hard. This will be a story told in your relatives’ own words and own voice, gently guided by Turtle as he asks the right questions at the right time, prompting memories and stories. And there’s no hurry. Usually people like to be interviewed up to sixty minutes, but if there are more stories to tell, we can carry on.

What’s required from you?

We’ll guide you through the technical set up – all you’ll need is a laptop and good Wi-Fi connection. We ask for a close friend or family member to advise us on any key subjects that you think could spark memories or good stories.

Get the interviewee comfortable – perhaps have a cup of tea or a glass of water ready for them.

What happens when I buy an interview?

You will be sent an email by Turtle’s team to discuss a suitable time for a pre-interview phone call for background information (e.g. date of birth of interviewee, and home county) and to arrange details around recording the interview. We recommend that you also discuss the likely topics with the interviewee beforehand so that names and dates are top of mind.

What does a remote interview mean?

We use special software (we’ll email a link to you) which enables voices to be recorded professionally. All you have to do is open the link (our technician will guide you through – it’s pretty easy – and we do a line test beforehand) and open the laptop on a table (near to where you family member is sitting) and Bob’s your Uncle!

Where can the interview take place?

The most important thing is for your relative to be as comfortable as possible, and if that place can be as quiet as possible, without noise of radios, telephones, doorbells or other possible distractions that will be of benefit.

Who will do the interview?

Turtle has over 25 years’ experience interviewing Ireland’s older generations for the award-winning Vanishing Ireland project. He has a gentle interviewing technique that puts people at ease as he guides them through the years. As well as the core stories of each interviewee’s life, he gathers important details about the people and places they knew in their younger years.

When will we receive the interview?

Within 5 days of the completed interview, we’ll send the polished recording filled with invaluable memories for present and future family generations. All you’ll have to do is click, listen and share as you wish with your family and close friends.

How much does a Life Story interview cost?

€550

Testimonials

‘How many times do we say, we should write down some of the stories that older relatives used to tell, and then one day, sadly, it is too late? Having Nana interviewed by Turtle was fantastic – our family will always have a record of her stories in her own voice. You can never know someone else really, but the stories and memories that Nana chose to share are a glimpse into her own inner life.’

Elizabeth Stack

Albany, New York

The recording of our 97 year old father, has been amazingly beneficial for our family. My father is delighted to have shared his memories of Ireland long ago. We now have a permanent record of his voice and stories, and our family has shared the interview with relatives and friends, in Ireland and overseas. This is a present for present and future generations.

The Lecane Family

County Cork

‘I listened, captivated by Turtles polished interview skills. His voice was gentle but inquisitive and warm. I was so, so proud of my Mum as she spoke with clarity and eloquence. A wonderful experience.’

Marianne Fegan

County Wicklow

‘To hear your grandmother speak honestly and tell her history is powerful and enchanting. Something to have for ever and to never forget where we have come from.

Wendy J O’Neill

County Carlow

‘Turtle documented my Dad’s memoirs spanning over 88 years. We had heard many a story over the years, but it was something special to have them preserved in this way, not only for my own siblings, but my dad’s grandchildren and great grand kids in the years ahead. Aside from his fantastic research skills and inquisitive questions, Turtle is one of life’s gentlemen. He made my Dad feel completely at ease during his chats, which was most important. I would highly recommend the recording of such memories. They are a real treasure. It goes without saying, Turtle is the man for the job.’

Pat Ward

Dublin City

‘Turtle and Ally Bunbury came to my family’s home to interview and record my parent’s (90, 93) life story in April 2023. They arrived laden with Foxes biscuits (always an in!) with smiles on their faces and you could immediately see that they would have a great rapport with my parents. 

Turtle’s expert, gentle probing connected the dots within each of my parent’s stories. Given his expertise in Irish history and context he used this to shape his interview questions about Kilkenny and Clifden’s past, through my parents’ memories. It is so precious for us to have these stories which show the character and essence of my parents as individuals. 

They are very, very lucky in their lives and amazingly can articulate the details of their past lives even though they are each in their 90th decade. Thank you to both Turtle and Ally for their gentleness and kindness to my parents. To me this is the most important aspect of  Turtle’s approach as interviewer – he is genuine in his interest and because of this he could draw out the gems that will be held in our families memory forever.’

Deirdre Joyce

County Wicklow

‘Immense pride filled our hearts as we listened to our Dad recall his youth and sea faring adventures.  With a very relaxed interview style, Turtle’s questions led to a very natural and warm conversation in which we were wholeheartedly engrossed and engaged. Thank you for this treasure!’

The Knight Family

County Monaghan