The Irish Festival of Oulu is Finland’s premiere Irish festival, offering traditional Irish music, poetry, film, story-telling, dance, and theatre crammed into a four-day whirlwind of activities, September 30 – October 3.

Gabriel Byrne: Stories From Home will be screened on opening night, September 30. Director Pat Collins will be on hand to discuss the film with the audience afterwards.

What question would you like to ask Pat Collins?

Official poster for The Irish Festival of Oulu

Thanks to Brent Cassidy, festival organizer, and Riitta for alerting us about this great festival!


  1. 7300 visitors participated in different concerts and workshops last year at The Irish Festival of Oulu. More people are expected to come this year. Take your time and see how versatile the festival program is. It will be very interesting to see Gabriel Byrne’s documentary as well as participate the Q&A session with Pat Collins. I am happy to hear, what questions you would like to ask?

    • Must add some more info. The number of guests is enormous considering the size of the country and the town of Oulu. No wonder, this Irish festival has become so highly rewarded and appreciated in Finland. Brent Cassidy, the organizer, is a young man with enormous capacity of developing the festival. It never repeats the program, new ideas are popping up for each festival. A very inspirational man. He came to Finland as an exchange student to the University of Oulu for 13 years ago and stayed!

  2. Riitta! Well, I’d like to ask him this:

    1. Mr. Collins, I’ve never seen one of your other films, the documentary about the Irish writer John McGahern, but I would really love to. Obviously these two films (“John McGahern: A Private World” and “Gabriel Byrne: Stories From Home”) are about two different people, but it what other ways do they differ and in what ways are they similar?

    2. How much of the Stories From Home film was left on the cutting room floor? Would you ever consider including it in a director’s cut DVD of the film?

    3. Can you talk a little about the process involved in making the film? Was Gabriel responding to questions you posed? How did you arrive at the notion of showing him in the United States (in NYC and LA) but never in Ireland (except in the past)? And what does this device mean to you and to the film?

    4. What was your reaction when you learned Gabriel Byrne had been appointed the first Cultural Ambassador for Ireland?

    OK. That’s enough. If you ask one of these, Riitta, that would be totally cool!! Enjoy the festival!!

  3. Wish I was there

    • I shall also have a possibility to talk with him, as I am his “driver” on Friday, Oct 1. Pat Collins is lecturing at The University of Oulu. Quess, who will be asking a signature to her own poster?

      • WOW that’s sooo cool ! go Riita !!
        if you have enough time to ask all the questions you want, plus Stella’s, I’d like to know how he gained Gabriel’s trust and was it difficult ? Did he knew what kind of person was Gabriel or did he discover him while filming ?
        thanks !
        and enjoy the festival !!

  4. Ritta – I’m so happy for you!! You even get to drive Pat Collins – that is super! What a gig!!

    I am hoping that you or someone will have the opportunity to ask Mr. Collins if SFH may be shown as a documentary on TV – like maybe on HBO – and if there will be a DVD available for purchase soon. It would be great to be able to add a Stories From Home DVD to my collection of Mr. Byrne’s work.

    Enjoy your festival. It sounds like it is really a well planned and executed extravaganza!

    Kris (USA)

  5. …Well, my question will certainly be hard to top Stella’s (you’re really into Gabe, aren’t you Stell?!) – but I think I would just ask him this: How much of the film does he (Pat Collins) think portrays Gabriel accurately as a person, because we know there is information that was deliberately omitted (for whatever reason), and as followers of Gabriel’s we are constantly trying to get a sense of how he really is. I am naturally skeptical about just about everything I see and read; this doesn’t mean that the inforamtion is wrong or purposely misleading, but there’s always that little voice that says ‘Can I trust that this information is correct?’ Especially in dealing with someone as public as Gabriel; the man has to have some privacy as well!

  6. Stella, do you think is possible to find sponsors for Gabriel Byrne come to Brazil for studies or Irish Academy Films.
    Thanks for your attention.
    Patricia (Brazil)

  7. Um yes, Alicen, you could say that I’m “into Gabe.” This website should be proof enough of that, I suppose! ;-)

    Trish: I’m thinking Mr. Byrne is going to be pretty busy here in the US and in Ireland for awhile, being Cultural Ambassador for Ireland and all. But you never know. Is there an Irish Festival of some kind in Brazil that we could investigate??

  8. Cythandra


    I’m just back from New York. I met someone yesterday that knows Mr. Byrne personally. Reports that he’s one of the nicest people that he’s ever met. He’s very down-to-earth and this person also finds him to be very intelligent.

  9. I wonder if there is any news from this festival yet?
    Riitta, have you something to tell us from the event?

  10. Very nice screening in Oulu. Pat Collins took a number of questions from the audience and spoke in a very open fashion about working on the documentary. I think that about 100 people attended the screning and the film was very well received – the audience showed some interest in buying a dvd copy, although there is not one available at the moment.

    The documentary was also screened as part of the Helsinki International Film Festival which Pat Collins also attended.—gabriel-byrne-stories-from-home

  11. Thanks for telling us this DH! :-)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.