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Irish Folktales


Ben Bulben

Ben Bulben

Legendary home of the Irish third century warriors known as the Fianna, Ben Bulben (or Benbulben, Benbulbin, Binn Ghulbain) is a large glacial rock formation in the Darty Mountains. Read More »

Eo Rossa

The Eo Rossa or Eó Ruis (Yew of Ross) was one of the five sacred trees of Ireland (the Bile* Trees or the Bileda) and said to grow by the River Barrow at Leighlinbridge. It grew from three natured berries from a branch born by the Irish God, Trefuilngid Tre-ochair (Triple Bearer of the Triple Key, Master of All Wisdom and consort of Macha, the triple goddess). Read More »

Fairy Nurse

There lived a woman in Innish Shark -- one of the group of islands on the eastern coast -- named Biddy Mannion, as handsome and likely a fisherman's wife as you would meet in a day's walk. She was tall, and fair in the face, with skin like an egg, and hair that might vie with the gloss of the raven's wing. Read More »

Irish Folklore

From Newgrange - a reminder of a great age of monument building and ritual - through to natural wonders such as the Giant's Causeway, Ireland is a land of legend and mystery. The landscape is full of echoes of history interwoven with a rich mythology that forms an impressive and colourful heritage. Read More »

IRISH FOLKLORE COMMISSION 1935-1970 : History, Ideology, Methodology

Irish Folklore Commission

IRISH FOLKLORE COMMISSION 1935-1970 : History, Ideology, Methodology [Micheal Briody] Between 1935 and 1970 the Irish Folklore Commission (Coimisiún Béaloideasa Éireann), under-funded and at great personal cost to its staff, assembled one of the world's largest folklore collections. Read More »

Jamie Freel and the Young Lady

The following story from' Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry' by William Butler Yeats (1888) takes place in Fannet, which is now known as Fanad, a peninsular by Lough Swilly. Although the tale includes a trip across the length of Ireland, according to the story the hero states he is nearly home when approaching Tamney, so I have used this village for my map reference below. Read More »

Knockinarea

Knockinarea is the name of the prominent mountain on the Cuil Irra peninsula to the west of Sligo, County Sligo. The name of the hill has been interpreted as: The Hill of the King, The Hill of the Moon and The Hill of the Executioner amongst other things, and dominates the views from miles around. Read More »

Loch Ashie

A spectral army is said to appear on the shores of the loch at dawn on May the first, which is Beltane in the Celtic calander. One sighting is alleged to have taken place during the First World War, when a walker was on the moors close to the loch. He witnessed a battling army of horsemen and foot soldiers savaging each other in silence. Read More »

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). Read More »

Oilliphéist

In ‘Irish Myths and Legends’ by Ronan Coghlan, we are told that Oilliphéist, is an Irish word meaning ‘dragon’ or ‘great worm’, and that ‘a creature of this sort, hearing that Saint Patrick was coming to drive out its kind, cuts its way through the land, thus forming the River Shannon.’ The Shannon is 224 miles long and the is Ireland's longe Read More »

Strange Lands By Andrew L Paciorek

Strange Lands

Andy Paciorek is one of Mysterious Britain & Irelands favourite contributors and his amazing artwork can be found illustrating articles throughout this site. Read More »

The Fairy Nurse

There was once a little farmer and his wife living near Coolgarrow. They had three children, and my story happened while the youngest was on the breast. Read More »

The Midwife Of Listowel

"Why do you call the fairies 'good people?'" asked I.
"I don't call them the good people myself," answered Duvane, "but that is what the man called them who told me the story. Some call them the good people to avoid vexing them. I think they are called the good people mostly by pious men and women, who say that they are some of the fallen angels." Read More »

The Recovered Bride

The following tale taken from 'Legendary Fictions of the Irish Celt's, by Patrick Kennedy (1866). It also appears in 'Beltane: Springtime Rituals, Lore & Celebration' by Raven Grimassi (2001). Read More »

Twenty Years With The Good People

I had a gran'uncle, he was a shoemaker; he was only about 3 or 4 months married. I'm up to fourscore now. Well, God rest all their souls, for they are all gone, I hope to a better world! Read More »

Whistling Dobhar-chĂș of Lough Glenade

Dobhar-chu

In Conbnaíl (Conwell) Cemetery, Drummans, there is a tombstone depicting a carved Dobhar-chú .The grave is that of Grace Connolly (Grainne Ni Conalai), who apparently was killed by a Dobhar-chú from Lough Glenade on 24th September 1722. Read More »



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