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Wren Day

Wren Day is celebrated on St Stephens Day (26 December) and generally comprised of a wren being killed, attached to a pole and presented on doorsteps within the township by wrenboys, singing a rhyme...

Grace Neill’s

The following extract is taken from an article by David Brandon and Alan Brooke which was published in The Guardian on 31 October 2009. ‘Grace Neill’s at Donaghadee, County Down, opened for business in 1611 and is the oldest inn in Ireland.

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The Cailleach

From high mountain pass, exhaling ice breath, (2).
Comes Cailleach clothed in summers death.
Cold fingers search under starlight’s lantern
Staff cracks dew to frosted mantle, (3).
In the stags hoary frosted bark,
Riding with wolves on the cloak of the dark. (4).
From mountain, hillock, stone and spring (5).

Lough Neagh

The freshwater Lough Neagh covers an area of 151 square miles and is Northern Ireland’s largest lake. There are a few legends associated with Lough Neagh and its formation. The following account entitled ‘This is the Death of Eochaidh son of Mairid’ is from the Book of the Dun Cow, Translated by Standish Hayes O’Grad (1892).

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The Undreamed Region: Barrows In Folklore & Archaeology

Hills, mounds and burial sites. Places which have a timeless allure. Such places can be seen and regarded as mythically liminal, a place that it is not a place. A place outside of time. A place where the living freely walk with the dead. Barrows are just such places.

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Changelings

Changelings are part of Western Folklore, a child of a fairy type (Elf, Troll etc) which has been secretly swapped for a human baby and left in its place. George Waldron gave the following description of one he saw in the Isle of Man and it was subsequently reprinted in ‘The Science of Fairy Tales’ (1891) by Edwin Sidney Hartland.

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Irish Ghosts by Peter Underwood

Peter Underwood, a world renowned expert on the paranormal, has published a new book focussing on Irish Ghosts. I had great hopes for this book having owned a copy of his 1973 book Gazetteer of Scottish & Irish Ghosts for a number of years, and I’m pleased to say I’ve not being disappointed.

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Ox of Dile (Dil)

The third wonder of Glenn Dallan in Tirowen mentioned in the The Triads of Ireland or the Trecheng Breth Féne is the Ox of Dil. Following the mention of the The Beast of Lettir Dallan which is centred around a lake by the church, of Ox of Dile it is said: