Celtic Myth Podshow News

Bringing the Tales and Stories of the Ancient Celts to your Fireside

Category: Ireland (Page 1 of 11)

New film, Curse of the Banshee, screened in Galway

Galway’s Menlo Park Hotel will host the first screening of the joint Irish & UK production of Curse of the Banshee before it heads to the US. The film was seen on Halloween Night (31st October) from 8:30pm with special guests that include stars from RTE’s Love/Hate and former world boxing champion Steve “Celtic Warrior” Collins.

Curse of the Banshee starts out in 1963 when a group of Irish witch hunters try track down the local banshee after it was brought back thru the Ouija board that was used by one the five families can resurrect her.

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The Irish Shee or Fairies and their Dwellings

Shee or Fairies and their Dwellings.—The pagan Irish worshipped the side [shee], i.e. the earth-gods, or fairies, or elves. These side are closely mixed up with the mythical race called Dedannans, to whom the great majority of the fairy gods belonged.

According to our bardic chroniclers the Dedannans were the fourth of the prehistoric colonies that arrived in Ireland many centuries before the Christian era.

They were great magicians, and were highly skilled in science and metal-working. After inhabiting Ireland for about two hundred years, they were conquered by the people of the fifth and last colony—the Milesians.

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Hurling, Love and Fairies

With Betaine around the corner here is a little history about love and Hurling. Hurling is an outdoor team game of ancient Gaelic and Irish origin. The game has prehistoric origins, has been played for over 3,000 years, and is considered to be the world’s fastest field sport.

The Hurling Match

THE fairies, with their true artistic love of all the gentle graces of life, greatly dislike coarse and violent gestures, and all athletic sports, such as hurling and wrestling; and they often try to put an end to them by some evil turn.

One day a great cloud of dust came along the road during a hurling match and stopped the game. On this the people grew alarmed, for they said the fairies are out hunting and will do us harm by blinding us; and thousands of the Sidhe swept by, raising a terrific dust, though no mortal eye could them.

Then one man, a good player and musician, ran for his fiddle and began to play some vigorous dance tunes, “for now,” said “the fairies will begin to dance and forget us, and they will be off in no time to hold a revel on the rath to the music of their own fairy pipes.”

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Early Celtic Women of Ireland

It is not known when or how the Irish language came to Ireland. It belongs to a group of languages called Celtic, once widely spoken in parts of the Continent and in Britain. Those areas also shared certain cultural characteristics in the centuries before and after the time of Christ.

The concept of Celticism is quite vague however and some modern archaeologists and historians argue heatedly about the means by which Ireland came to have a Celtic language and some aspects of Celtic culture. They have not yet been able to agree on how to interpret the sources available.

Greek and Roman writers describe early Celtic women as courageous and aggressive

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Irish Heritage Survey results

The Irish people have just undertaken a survey whose results were released to coincide with National Heritage week. The results are somewhat surprising. Chief among the Irish heritage locations and landmarks respondents were most embarrassed at not having yet visited was the Hill of Tara. Listeners to our stories know how central and important the Hill of Tara is to the Heritage of the Irish Celts. The three most important sites voted for were Newgrange, the Burren and Glendalough in Co. Wicklow.

The Irish Times Heritage Survey

The Irish Times – Friday, August 26, 2011, reported:

The three most popular heritage sites are Newgrange Co Meath, the Burren in Co Clare and Glendalough in Co Wicklow.

That is according to a new survey released to coincide with National Heritage week.
However, while 450 of the 600 people interviewed claimed heritage was important for tourism, many respondents expressed some shame at not having visited popular sites.

Irish People embarrassed

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Finnegan’s Wake – Whiskey inspired resurrection


Irish Music Forever.com tells us: Finnegan’s Wake is a raucous, irreverent song that tells the story of hod carrier Tim Finnegan who has a “love of the liquor”. So much so that to send him on his way each day he has a

“drop of the craythur every morn”.

This refers to whiskey, the drink that leads both to Finnegan’s downfall and his revival as we shall see.While working he falls from his ladder, breaks his skull and dies.

True to Irish tradition there is a wake and, again true to Irish tradition, there is plenty of crying, drinking and eventually, fighting.

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Update on Saving Newgrange: A New Hope?

Proposed Slane Bypass

Vincent Salafia of Save Newgrange tells us that the Irish Times has reported that new consultations are being ordered to discuss the Slane Bypass that is threatening the ancient home of Angus Og, the Brugh na Boyne – the monument that is now called Newgrange.

Click on the image above to see the detail.

The Irish Times reports:

A NEW round of public consultations on controversial plans for a dual-carriageway bypass of Slane, Co Meath, has been ordered by An Bord Pleanála, with October 15th set as the closing date. A public notice advertising the new round of consultations was published recently in national newspapers. The original consultation period closed on February 25th 2014.

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Grace O’Malley the Dark Lady of Doona

Our many to thanks the Irish Cultural Society of the Garden City Area for allowing us to post this great article to share with our readers. She is known by many names: Grainne Mhaol (Bald Grace), Grainne Ui Mhaille (Grace of the Umhalls), Grania, the Dark Lady of Doona, Grace O’Malley, and Granuaile (Gran-oo-ale). She was a contemporary of Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Edmund Spencer, Walter Raleigh, and Francis Drake. She was a mother, a pirate, and one of the many great women of Ireland.

Born c. 1530 into the O’Malley family, the hereditary lords of Umhall which included Clare Island, Inishturk, Inishbofin, Inishark and Caher, Grace married into two of the powerful families of Western Ireland, the O’Flaherty of West Connacht and the Burke of Clew Bay. Tradition has it that she is buried (1603) on Clare Island at the Abbey which bears the O’Malley coat-of-arms; Terra-Marique-Potens. Indeed a fitting family motto, for Grace was powerful on land and especially on the sea.

The Life of Granuaile

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Proleek Dolmen Summer Solstice alignment

Proleek Dolmen

Proleek Dolmen

Ancient dolmen in Louth points towards Slieve Gullion for Summer Solstice Sunset. It is known as the ‘Giant’s Load’ and, when you stand under the great capstone of Proleek Dolmen, it’s not difficult to see why. This huge boulder is reputed to weigh around 40 tonnes, yet it sits comfortably on top of three upright stones as if it was a sheet of paper and not a giant rock.

Proleek Dolmen built by Scottish Giant

Legend says the stone was carried there by a Scottish giant called Parrah Boug McShagean, who is reputed to be buried nearby. Another tale says it was brought by a giant from a nearby mountain.

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Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd

A fascinating Celtic novel has just hit the Kindle as an electronic download. It is 1981, and 18-year-old Fergus lives on the border between Northern Ireland and the south. His older brother, Joe, a member of the Provisional IRA, is jailed at Long Kesh and joins a hunger strike. The family is traumatized, and Fergus does his best to comfort his mother and to convince Joe that his “sacrifice” for the cause is not worth it. Fergus has been pressured (blackmailed) to smuggle packages for the IRA, but wants nothing more than to leave Ireland and study to become a doctor. His life becomes even more complicated when he and his uncle discover the body of a young girl while pilfering peat.

Double narratives in Bog Child

It turns out to be 2000 years old. Thus begins a double narrative that involves a love story and a discussion of destiny and self-sacrifice. Fergus’s story includes his struggle to understand his brother’s actions and his growing love for the daughter of the archaeologist called in to investigate the Iron Age discovery. Interspersed is the story of Mel, the bog child, who makes the ultimate sacrifice to unite her people, and who finds love at the end of her life. The two narratives work beautifully together. The love story between Fergus and Cora is depicted with tenderness, and their adolescent sexuality is sensitively portrayed. Readers will come away with a strong sense of the time periods (especially of the “Troubles”) through dialogue and action. This compelling read is lyrically written and contains authentic dialogue and challenging and involving moral issues. It’s a first, and a must-have purchase.

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