The Travelling People

“When I was a child we were hunted from place to place and we could never have friends to be always going to school with. The little settled children would run past our camps – they were afeard of the travellers. Other people had a sort of romantic idea about us, because of the horses […]

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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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Irish Wolfhounds | “Gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked”

Irish Wolfhounds are one of the oldest breeds of dogs recorded in the history of man. They appear in early Irish law tracts under the name “Cú” (modern Irish word for hound). The dogs are known as the “gentle giants” of the canine world expressed in the breed slogan, “Gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked”. […]

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#OTD in 1921 – The Anglo-Irish Treaty is signed, ending the Irish War of Independence.

“Think, what have I got for Ireland? Something she has wanted these past 700 years. Will anyone be satisfied at the bargain? Will anyone? I tell you this, I have signed my death warrant. I thought at the time how odd, how ridiculous —a bullet may just as well have done the job five years […]

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Legend of Úna Bhán

McDermott was the Chieftain of Moylurg, a Celtic Kingdom in North Roscommon. He had a beautiful daughter, Úna Bhán, – so named because of her long blonde hair. His neighbour was Tomás Láidir Costello, a good and sincere man, handsome and strong. Úna Bhán and Tomás Láidir fell in love and wished to marry but […]

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Devenish-Damhinis | The Isle of Oxen

Under St Molaise, this isle once held one of the greatest monastic scholars, the peer of Columbia. The monks of Devenish were of a reform order known as Culdees (Céilí Dé), Companions of God. Lough Erne bursts with legend, with its own banshee and ghosts. Most prominent of the tales is that of the prophet, […]

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Brehon Laws | Children and the status Women in early Ireland

Prior to the Anglo-Norman invasions Ireland was home to between 80-140 independent petty kingdoms called túatha. A person’s idea of nationhood was local to their home túath and kin-group (fine). Each túath had its king elected from among its noble grades, each had their own customs and traditions, styles of dress, particular songs and legends […]

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Faoladh | Werewolves of Ireland

The Irish werewolf is different from the Teutonic or European werewolf, as it is really not a “monster” at all. Unlike its continental cousins, this shapeshifter is the guardian and protector of children, wounded men and lost persons. According to some ancient sources, the Irish werewolves were even recruited by kings in time of war. […]

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The Banshee

As we move into the darkest months of the year, it seems fitting to visit a spectre as ancient as life itself – the Banshee. A banshee is a female spirit in Irish mythology who heralds the death of a family member, usually by shrieking or keening. Her name is connected to the mythologically-important tumuli […]

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