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: Republic of Ireland
The following description of an old haunting story was published in The Ghost World by T. F. Thiselton Dyer (1893). ‘A tragic case is recorded by Crofton Croker, who tells how, many years ago, a clergyman belonging to St. Catharine’s Church, Dublin, resided at the old Castle of Donore, in the vicinity of that city.
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).
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
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.
Designed by Richard Morrison in 1810, Ballyheigue Castle was a grand mansion and home of the Crosbie family. Now mostly a shell, surrounded by a golf course which opened in 1996. It ha been burned down twice, once by accident in 1840 and again on 27th May 1921 as part of the troubles and the destruction of buildings linked to British Imperialism.
"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."
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.
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.