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...
Country and County: Northern Ireland
The following extract is taken from an article by David Brandon and Alan Brooke which was published in The Guardian on 31 October 2009. ‘Dobbin’s Inn stands close to Carrickfergus Castle, and in the 1700s the landlord’s wife was said to have had a steamy affair with a soldier from the garrison.
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).
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).
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.
In the graveyard by the Parish Church of St Patrick, Drumbeg, is the grave of James Haddock who died in 1657. Five years later his ghost is said to made contact in a bid to ensure financial future of his son.
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.
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.