Unreal Irish Folklore
Deirdre of the Sorrows

Deirdre of the Sorrows

September 12, 2021

There once was born a cursed girl. She was beautiful, and strong-willed, and would do anything for the man she loved. But in her name, evil came to Ireland, bringing war and fighting that left hundreds dead in its wake. Her name was Deirdre, and stories told about her live on, as one of Ireland’s most sorrowful legends.

 

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Sources and further Reading

Story Sources

 

Background reading

 

Music

 

The Quest of the Sons of Tuireann

The Quest of the Sons of Tuireann

August 29, 2021

For every death, a price must be paid. Life is precious, and blood is costly, and when you take the life of a man, you do not know how high the penalty will be. This is a story about three brothers, and a life they took, the price they paid, and the devastation that followed them to their deaths.

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Sources and Further Reading

Story Sources

Background reading

 

Music

The Ship from the Sky

The Ship from the Sky

August 8, 2021

As strange as it is imagine, there are infinite worlds out there in the universe, far beyond our sight. But, if the stories are to be believed, a group of early Irish people came closer than most to contact with the world above our world, and the strange people who inhabited it.

 

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Stories of the Snow

Stories of the Snow

December 20, 2020

There is something magical about snow, but it’s also deceptive, and deadly – the perfect ingredient for dark tales on a cold winter’s night . . .

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Sources

Weather Lore

Derbforgaill

Saints

  • St Molasius (Silva Gaedelica, S. H. O’Grady)
  • St Comghan (Mac Dá Cherda and Cummaine Foda - J. G. O'Keeffe)
  • St Patrick (The Tripartite Life of St Patrick – Whitley Stokes)

Deirdre

Sín and Muirchertach

International Stories of the Snow

Music

Granuaile - The Pirate Queen

Granuaile - The Pirate Queen

November 29, 2020

 

Granuaile, Ireland’s Pirate Queen , was ahead of her time but remains with us in legend. Escaping the constraints of femininity, Gráinne risked everything she had to live life she wanted, and rule the seas.

 

 

 

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Sources and Further Reading

 

 

Music

 

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My guest episode on the Candlelit Tales podcast

 

 

 

Oisín’s Adventures in the Land of Youth

Oisín’s Adventures in the Land of Youth

November 15, 2020

The story of Oisín’s journey to Tír na nÓg with Niamh of the Golden Hair has become one of Ireland’s best-loved legends. But the history of how it came to be told may still surprise you . . .

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Sources and Further Reading

 

Music

 

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Bridget Cleary: “The Last Witch Burned in Ireland”

Bridget Cleary: “The Last Witch Burned in Ireland”

October 25, 2020

Witch trials came to an end after 1711. But in the decades that followed, hushed into small, catholic communities in the Irish countryside, fear of the supernatural was growing. And 1895 brought the most infamous execution of a suspected fairy ever to take place – the burning of Bridget Cleary in County Tipperary . . .

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SOURCES AND FURTHER READING

Main Sources

Newspaper Accounts

Other cases mentioned

MUSIC

 

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The Witch Panic of Islandmagee

The Witch Panic of Islandmagee

October 18, 2020

The story of the last and largest witch trial ever to take place in Ireland.

 

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Sources and Further Reading

 

Music

The Cursed Kiss of Florence Newton

The Cursed Kiss of Florence Newton

October 11, 2020

In 1661, rumours swept the town of Youghal about the deadly kiss of a woman named Florence Newton, a kiss that could bring terrible pain, claim lives, and that marked her out for what she truly was – a witch.

 

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Sources and Further Reading

Irish Witchcraft and Demonology, by St. John D. Seymour

‘Florence Newton’s trial for witchcraft, Cork, 1661: Sir William Aston’s transcript’, Edited by Dr Andrew Sneddon

‘Witchcraft belief and trials in early modern Ireland,’ Dr Andrew Sneddon

Witchfinders, by Malcolm Gaskill

 

Music

 

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Alice Kyteler: Ireland’s First Witch Trial (Re-release)

Alice Kyteler: Ireland’s First Witch Trial (Re-release)

October 4, 2020

(Re-released episode from Season 1)

In 1324, Dame Alice Kyteler of Kilkenny became the first woman tried for witchcraft in Ireland. But things did not go according to plan…

SOURCES AND FURTHER READING

The Sorcery Trial of Alice Kyteler: A Contemporary Account, translated and edited by L. S. Davidson and John O. Ward

The History and Antiquities of the Diocese of Ossory by Rev. William Carrigan

Irish Witchcraft and Demonology by St. John D. Seymour

Witchcraft: A Very Short Introduction  by Malcolm Gaskill

The Sorcery Trial of Alice Kyteler by Bernadette Williams

 

MUSIC

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