Liminal, The Short Documentary


“Liminal” is a 12 minute documentary on how folklore can influence people’s interactions with the landscape. In particular, the film looks at folklores revolving around seals and seal conservation.

In Ireland, there are two types of seals: the common (or harbor) seal and the grey seal. While neither species of seal are currently threatened, it does not take much to tip the balance. Seals share the same environment that is under threat from over-fishing, climate change, and pollution from humans such as plastics.

“Liminal” not only explores seal folklore, it provides background information on the common and grey seal, and how folklore is a global subject that can reconnect people back to landscape.

Folklore is the history before the history books were written and it is how people regarded the natural world around them. – Brendan Price, Irish Seal Sanctuary

Bios of Interviewees

Brendan Price

Founder of Irish Seal Sanctuary (ISS)

Brendan Price, Founder of the Irish Seal Sanctuary, Marine and Wildlife Advocate was born in 1954, brought up on the Southside of Dublin, attended Catholic University School and University College Dublin, graduating from Agricultural Science, and resides in Garristown Fingal Co.Dublin. Brendan was :

-The instigator of the Dublin Zoo enquiry

-Advocate and catalyst for ratification of C.I.T.E.S.

-Founder member of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group and Sanctuary

-Founder of the Irish Seal Sanctuary and Advocate for National Marine Conservation Centre.

These events defined Brendan's career and charged a National debate on wildlife, taking Ireland to the centre stage of wildlife politics and conservation internationally. They further generated research, policy, revenue and jobs in wildlife Brendan's record of Representation and Advocacy has included :

-The case for seals to fisheries interests ,Government, EU, Embassies and Internationally Expert witness on behalf of seals to Oral hearings for Dublin Bay incinerator and Dublin Gateway Project

-Establishment and development of a Sea Fisheries advisory group and service on the Executive Committee of North West Waters Regional Advisory Council from outset

-Attendance at International Whaling Commission gatherings in Ireland, South Korea, St.Kitts and Nevis, Chile and Madria, advocating a World Whale Sanctuary Irish Environmental Network Environmental Pillar for Social partnership

-Heritage visitors to school scheme

- Rural Environment Protection Scheme

-National Executives of Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Irish Wildlife Trust, Earth Watch and in other capacities on organisations, internationally, nationally and locally with Wildlife brief

-Constitutional changes to conservation ethos at Dublin Zoo by motion and record attendances at general meetings

-Author of Federated Workers Union of Ireland, Environmental policy document

-Test cases on behalf of captive Elephants and other wildlife Expert witness to U.A.N (United Animal Nations)for both seals and whales

-Rescue of Castlemahon Tigers, Bear and others

-Development of National Marine Mammals Stranding Network

-Development of Oil Spill Responses for wildlife Organiser of National Exhibitions , ``Seals the Enchanted People`` (ENFO), ``Land Dividing, Sea Uniting``(UNYO)

-Political campaigns based on wildlife protection and ecological sustainability including five Seanad Eireann attempts (finishing in the top 30%) and one European Parliament attempt (polling as highest Independent in Dublin.)

Brendan is an Advocate for Ireland as a ``Centre for the Advancement of Wildlife Rehabilitation``, partnering communities at home and abroad in efforts to live harmoniously with wildlife and the environment.

Brendan is also finishing up a film with a fellow filmmaker. The film is calledLanugo after the white coat that seals are born with. Be sure to check it out! 

Dr. Kelli Ann Malone

Archaeologist and Lecturer

Kelli Ann Maoileoin teaches The History of Ireland: People, Politics & Power and is currently a lecturer in Irish History at Champlain College-Dublin, where she has lectured since 2008. In the past, she has lectured in Heritage Management at the Dublin Institute of Technology (2006-2009) in the School of Hospitality Management and Tourism, where she also spent her 2006-07 Fulbright Research and Teaching Fellowship. Ms. Maoileoin was Associate Professor of Anthropology at Franklin Pierce College in Rindge, New Hampshire from 1996-2006, where she taught courses in Anthropology, Prehistoric Archaeology, and Applied Anthropology, and ran the field schools in Archaeology in New Hampshire and Ireland.

Her area of expertise is rather broad. She has a background in the Irish Neolithic and Bronze Age, and an enduring interest in heritage site interpretation and tourism. Ms. Maoileoin has many years of experience with study abroad programs and international education. She holds dual citizenship in America and Ireland, speaks English as a first language, is working on improving her Irish language skills (her family spoke Irish when she was a child), and can communicate poorly in German, Italian, Romansch, and French. Spring 2011 is her first term at CEA.

She earned both her Doctorate and Master's Degree in Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1998. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology from Goddard College in Plainfield, VT. Ms. Maoileoin has been riding and training show jumpers for more years than she cares to admit! She currently teaches and trains at Bunageddy Equestrian Centre in Roscommon. She is also an avid photographer and filmmaker.

Check out her books! I highly suggest it if you’re interested in learning about Neolithic and  Bronze Age Ireland. Interested to learn more about CEA? Check out their website here!

Bairbre Ní Fhloinn

Irish Folklore Lecturer

Bairbre Ní Fhloinn lectures in Irish Folklore, and is Head of Subject, in the School of Irish, Celtic Studies, Irish Folklore and Linguistics at University College Dublin. Her research interests include occupational belief and practice, especially with regard to fishermen and related maritime lore, the role of tradition in contemporary popular culture, folk belief and associated narratives, folk medicine, and aspects of the work and history of the National Folklore Collection, including Travellers and their traditions. As part of her work in Irish Folklore, she has made extensive recordings of material from people in many parts of Ireland. She has published widely on a range of topics, and has been a frequent contributor to radio and television programmes over the years. She has also studied folklore abroad, in Helsinki and in Sardinia.

Her research interests include:

-occupational belief and practice

-the role of tradition in contemporary popular culture and the persistence of themes from past to present

-vernacular architecture

-Irish Travellers

-folk medicine
-seasonal and calendar observance

- the history and methods of collecting and documenting Irish popular tradition.