Unreal Irish Folklore
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

Season 3 Trailer

Season 3 Trailer

September 27, 2020

Welcome to season 3 of Unreal a podcast about Irish history, stories and tradition. I’m doing something a little different this time around. For the month of October, I will be bringing you weekly true stories of Irish witches: their lives, their trials, their fates. Alice Kyteler. Florence Newton. The women of Islandmagee. Bridget Cleary. These women were part of our history. Their lives and what they went through are all unique, and their stories are a mark of who we were and how far we have come. But all of them deserve to be remembered.

So join me next Sunday, to begin a new Chapter of Unreal: The Season of the Witch.

 

Song: Beacon by Ayla Nereo

 

**** A note for my regular listeners - the first episode will be a repeat of Alice Kyteler's story which I previously hosted in Season 1, so you may want to give that one a miss and tune in from the week after. Or feel free to listen again!

The Salmon of Knowledge

The Salmon of Knowledge

June 20, 2020

The tale of the Salmon of Knowledge is one of the most famous and well-loved stories of Irish in mythology. It’s a story about becoming – of a hero before he was a hero. Everyone in Ireland knows the story. But you might be surprised by its roots!

 

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Sources and Further Reading

 

The Salmon of Knowledge Variants

 

Fionn / Enchanted Water Stories

 

Sigurd and Taliesen

 

Sinnan and Boand

 

Music

 

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Lost and Sunken Places

Lost and Sunken Places

May 31, 2020

Tales of mythical islands and enchanted cities have captivated our storytellers for generations. We are always searching, searching on the far horizon and in the depths of our lakes and rivers, for the worlds we have lost, and the promised lands we still have left to find.

 

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Sources and Further Reading

 

Introductions

 

Kilstuiffeen

 

Caher Linn

 

Fintan Mac Bochra

 

Liban

 

Mystical Islands

 

The Voyage of Brendan

 

Music

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