Bechbretha | Brehon Law on Beekeeping

In ancient Ireland, beekeeping was so important that there was a complete list of laws dedicated to beekeeping, called  ‘Bechbretha’, during the time of our Brehon laws. In the seventh century AD the laws were written down for the first time. Brehon law was administered by Brehons, or ‘brithem’ derived from the Irish ‘breitheamh’ meaning […]

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Dame Alice Kyteler – Kilkenny’s Medieval Witch

Dame Alice Kyteler was born at Kyteler’s House, Kilkenny in 1280 to wealthy Norman parents. Forty-four years later, in 1324, she fled to England to escape being burned as a witch and in July of that year, her property, including Kytelers Inn was confiscated. In the intervening years Dame Alice had married four times, had […]

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The Celts of Ancient Ireland

The first historical record of the Celts was by the Greeks about 700 BC, the Celts were a loose grouping of tribes that lived in an area north of the Alps around the Danube river in central Europe. Over the next few hundred years they spread east and west across Europe. The Celts first arrived […]

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Medieval Ireland: Inishmurray Monastic Site

“Saved by its ocean walls from ordinary marauders in former times, and from the wanton tourist of today… Inishmurray has retained a larger number of examples of primitive Irish Art than perhaps any other early Christian settlement in Ireland.” ––William Wakeman, A Survey of the Antiquarian Remains on the Island of Inishmurray, 1893 The first […]

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The most magnificent barbaric monument in Europe – Dún Aonghasa.

The prevalence of fortified homesteads and small settlements in Ireland speaks of a violent and turbulent history. Much of the low-level conflict that went on was unrecorded; only major events found their way into mythology and survived long enough to be chronicled. Dun Aengus (also Dun Angus and Dún Aonghasa) is located on Inis Mór, […]

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‘Bona na Croin’ (Neither collar nor crown)

‘Neither your collar nor crown shall I wear — my nose not brown, Nor I some clown in your court, In chains brought — a wolf to town. By no oath bound to your King, to my Gods alone I sing, Grey shadow hiding from sight to keep the rite from waning. In red gold […]

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The Uilleann Pipes

The importance of piping during the years of the Irish chieftains is evident in the 9th century representation of a piper on the great stone High Cross of Clanmacnoise in Co Offaly. This seat of Irish culture in Clanmacnoise fostered the great ancient school there which at its height involved six to seven thousand students. […]

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Thirty-four Irish Names from Ancient Myth and History

ÁED – Ancient Irish, Irish Mythology Older form of AODH. ÁEDÁN – Ancient Irish, Irish Mythology Older form of AODHÁN. This was the name of a 6th-century king of the Scots. ÁEDH – Ancient Irish Variant of ÁED. BRADÁN – Ancient Irish Derived from Irish Gaelic meaning “salmon”. BRÉANAINN – Ancient Irish Old Irish form […]

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Ancient Irish Olympics – The Lughnasa Games at Telltown

The Telltown or Tailtiu Games were said to have been instituted by the Gaelic god Lú Lamhfada Samildanách – Lugh­ the Long-Armed Master of the Arts, and are considered to be the Irish Olympics Games. They predate the Greek Olympics by about 1200 years and it could be reasonably speculated that the Irish Telltown Games […]

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