Tullow, Co. Wicklow
The nineteenth century blarney depicted by travel writers in Ireland has not gone out of style. In June of 1979 our informants delighted in the competitive spirit, each trying to outdo the other in spinning the more outrageous tale of the Ring of the Rath.
Fore, Co. Westmeath
St. Féichín’s presence continues to influence the community of Fore, where both pilgrims and locals are able to blend native folk beliefs into the practice of their faith.
Ballyferriter, Co. Kerry
There is little left to see at Dún An Óir. The earthworks from the hastily-constructed 1580 fortification have been eroded by weather and waves. There is no evidence of the November day centuries ago when 600 people were slain on this spot.
Knockbridge, Co. Louth
The tragic end of Cúchulainn, half-supernatural hero of the armies of Ulster, occurred at this tall standing stone. Mortally wounded, he bound himself to this pillar to keep his enemies at bay until the moment of his death.
Glandore, Co. Cork
Drombeg presides over a view that gently swoops down to the Atlantic a mile distant. Its organically sculpted, honey-colored stones form a circle that seems unlikely to be associated with the dying victims of human sacrifice.
Kimego West, Co. Kerry
The two forts are known in Irish as caiseal, not far from the Irish word for castle, caisleán. In local legend, the distance from the forts to the ruins of Ballycarbery castle is a short one also, as they are all reputed to be connected by underground passages.
Woodville, Co. Sligo
The use of this stone in folk remedies did not end at the beginning of the twentieth century. A woman living very close to the stone was interviewed by the Gardaí about what may have been this ritual practice in the mid-1990s.
Cushendall, Co. Antrim
This tomb was known as “Cloughbrack” on early maps. It is unclear when it became connected with Ossian and the effort to reclaim Ireland’s ancient folkloric patrimony from the fabrications of an upstart Scotsman.
Myths and Megaliths
The ancient Irish made their mark on the land with great stone and earthen structures. The legends that developed were thought to be among the earliest voices from the dawn of western civilization.