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You are here: Home > Writing in Education > Writing at University > Writing in Practice > Current Issue > Vol. 7 > 8 - Cyberspace seanchas by Gráinne Daly
8 - Cyberspace seanchas by Gráinne Daly
Author: Gráinne Daly
GAA sports fans’ tweets as oral storytelling, a case study
Attachments: WiP 2021 8 GD.pdf


Taking the activity of Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) fans across the Twitter microblogging platform as a case study, this article examines GAA fans’ collaborative output as a form creative writing that bears resemblance to the Gaelic oral storytelling tradition known as seanchas[i]. Traditionally, Gaelic custom was rooted in the oral transmission of culture in which there was a great reliance on seanchas and the bardic tradition. Web 2.0 technology has provided new modes of dissemination of culturally significant stories across society. Twitter is an example of a platform that enables collaborative production and creative dialogue across communities: it can be viewed as an open mic of sorts that substitutes as the “céilí”[ii], a term for a traditional Gaelic gathering. In considering sport as storytelling, this research views fans as both readers and writers of the game and explores the latter in terms of how fans on Twitter collaborate through creative writing in the reinterpreting, retelling, recreating and reimagining of Gaelic games. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, it examines fan-generated narratives with a focus on two key areas: (1) how the growing prevalence of “in-play” discourse enables the production of fanfiction by GAA fans that bears resemblance with the seanchas tradition, and (2) how the reflexive role of fans as consumers and producers results in the creation of sports narratives of cultural authority.

Keywords: Creative writing, Twitter, fan narratives, digital narrativity, networked fan community, sports fanfiction, sports fan, fanfiction, seanchas, oral storytelling, digital storytelling, GAA, Gaelic Athletic Association, cultural narratives, céili, céilidh, Celtic oral culture, Gaelic oral culture