All Blog Posts Tagged 'Folklore' (136)

'Spiorad na Samhna': Film on Halloween Enticing But Insubstantial

No matter how good a cupcake is, when you are expecting a full dessert, it can be disappointing.

Which was my reaction on seeing the award-winning (very) short film "Spiorad na Samhna -- Spirit of Samhain," advertised as exploring “the origins of Halloween in Ireland.” By…


Added by Fr. John R. Sheehan, SJ on October 23, 2015 at 12:00pm — 1 Comment

The Burning of Bridget Cleary -- 'The Irish Changeling'

Are you a witch, or are you a fairy

Or are you the wife of Michael Cleary?

So went a popular children’s rhyme in Ireland at the turn of the 20th century. I can hear the echo of those words spilling from young lips all the way to here. In amongst the childish…


Added by David Lawlor on October 21, 2015 at 4:30am — 14 Comments

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Monastic Round Tower & Offer for TheWildGeese.Irish Members

Born in the land of Saints and Scholars, our Irish monastic settlements are a very important part of our Irish heritage.

New in stock, this beautiful '…


Added by Totally Irish Gifts on October 19, 2015 at 3:00pm — 5 Comments

Swans, Armada, and Taphophilia Grab Me in Sligo

It was Monday morning and I was having trouble packing. I woke with a brass band in my head, as Jim says.  After sitting in the shower for a while, I took a panadol, drank some water and went back to sleep. I woke an hour later and slowly started to get ready to go.

It was very, very difficult. I called mum, I felt…


Added by The Last Torch on October 14, 2015 at 2:00am — 3 Comments

Harking to the Call of the O'Rourkes

(Sligo street art)

I was stranded for a second day in Grange. When I woke up, I had breakfast on my mind and enjoyed an Irish breakfast with a beautiful view. I had to be out by 11 a.m. as the painter was coming and the owner had to visit someone in hospital.

Having tried the…


Added by The Last Torch on October 10, 2015 at 8:30am — 7 Comments

Newgrange, Dowth Notebook: 'Who's Watching Whom?'

No trip to Ireland is complete without a trip to Newgrange, a prehistoric monument in County Meath, located about 1 km north of the River Boyne. As I drove from Belfast, there were places I wanted to stop that…


Added by The Last Torch on October 3, 2015 at 9:30am — 4 Comments

Enjoying Timeless Glories of Bunratty Castle -- and Mead

My last night in the homeland was spent at Bunratty Castle, a 15th-century tower house in County Clare, on the Ratty river. Caisleán Bhun Raithe meaning Castle at the Mouth of the Ratty. On the grounds of the castle is a folk park, which is just lovely. I unfortunately was wandering through at closing time so didn't get to…


Added by The Last Torch on September 29, 2015 at 9:00pm — 1 Comment

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Meet the Dysfunctional Family: Leprechauns and Clurichauns


It seems a good time to assess the evasive Leprechaun and his dyspeptic cousin, the Clurichaun.

Some sources would suggest that the ‘wee folk,” commonly known as the Leprechaun or Clurichaun, have inhabited Ireland since well before the Celts arrived -- around about 500 BC. Other sources suggest that the…


Added by That's Just How It Was on September 28, 2015 at 12:30pm — 9 Comments

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The Long Journey 'Home': The Art of The Irish Wake

The Irish custom of “waking the dead” has long been thought off as a purely Irish tradition, and many would argue that this is, indeed, the case. However, if we look at paganism, spiritualism and other religions, it is not too hard to find similarities in their traditions with ‘waking the dead.“ They believe…


Added by That's Just How It Was on August 24, 2015 at 3:00pm — 9 Comments

Roscommon Poet Becomes Bard for 100,000 Aussie Workers

Songs of the Snowy Mountains: The Settlers (Editor: Shannon O’Boyle)

Reviewer: J.A. O’Brien

Summary: Songs of the Snowy Mountains: The Settlers represents an important new contribution to the history of Australian folk music and to Australian folklore. The new…


Added by James O'Brien on July 31, 2015 at 5:00am — 1 Comment

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The Heroic Legend of Fionn mac Cumhaill

Fionn mac Cumhaill is a main character from ancient Irish legend from the 3rd century AD. He was a warrior, a chieftain, a poet and seer. Often referred to as Finn McColl, Finn MacCoul, Finn Mac Cool, Finn McCul, Fin McCool or Fionn…


Added by Totally Irish Gifts on July 8, 2015 at 2:00pm — 2 Comments

The Gardeners

"Hey boy, who am I going to leave these hands to when I’m gone?”

A long silence…then the words were repeated, louder and more animated.

“I say, who will I leave them to, eh? I think I’ll leave them to science.”

Again, the words fell on deaf ears and were greeted with total silence…

Those immortal words were uttered by my father, Mal, as he…


Added by John Anthony Brennan on June 30, 2015 at 2:30pm — 4 Comments

Wild West of Ireland

(Resurrected below are a few travel tips I scrawled to my much-loved older sister/guide a decade ago.  She prevailed upon me to enter them in your contest.  If some other lucky blokes win, perhaps they'll find them useful.)

Hey, Helen - The Ireland thing is for real.  The mistake most people make in…


Added by Francis A. Burke on June 10, 2015 at 2:30pm — No Comments

The Knife Sharpener

Every couple of years this man would come to Loughrea, County Galway and set up shop on the footpath outside Molloy's Harp Bar on Main Street. He was an itinerant blade grinder, or knife sharpener.

Folks would get wind he was in town and quickly a queue would…


Added by Brian Nolan on June 2, 2015 at 6:30am — 6 Comments

Recalling The Father of Irish Railways -- William Dargan

The man who changed the face of Ireland, County Laois's most famous son, William Dargan, was born near Killeshin, on Feb. 28th, 1799. He worked for some time as an apprentice to the pioneering Scottish engineer, Thomas Telford, and helped construct the London-Holyhead road across…


Added by Brendan OByrne on May 22, 2015 at 1:00pm — 1 Comment

The Recovery of the Tain

In days long gone, at a time that is long past, Guaire, the King of Connacht, hosted a huge gathering of poets.  The King was famed for…


Added by Mallon, The Ancestral Foundry on May 1, 2015 at 2:30pm — 4 Comments

Irish Myths and Legends Part 5: Never-Ending Stories

I hope that my examination of the stories in this series show that Irish myths and legends are not museum pieces to be taken out once in a while, dusted down, admired and then put back in a glass case. These stories are the living companions to our daily lives. They…


Added by The Wild Geese on May 1, 2015 at 2:00am — No Comments

The Boar of Ben Gulbain

In days long gone, at a time that is long past, the steward of Aengus the greatest magician in Ireland fathered a child by the wife of Donn a member of the Fianna. Donn was away on the battle field…


Added by Mallon, The Ancestral Foundry on April 30, 2015 at 2:30pm — 1 Comment

Irish Myths and Legends Part 4: Aoife's Tale

Lir is known to many as the father of the boys and girls turned into swans by their wicked step mother Aoife in "The Children of Lir." This is the story I only tell on very rare…


Added by The Wild Geese on April 30, 2015 at 4:08am — 1 Comment

Fiacc the Raven

In days long gone, at a time that is long past, Fiacc, the great raven, watched as the King of Ulster, Conor Mac Nessa arrived at the home of Phelim, a storyteller.  Fiacc knew…


Added by Mallon, The Ancestral Foundry on April 29, 2015 at 2:30pm — No Comments

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