Uaigh Éadaoine, Éadaoin’s Grave, Hill Of Howth

Ceann Bhinn Éadair or Howth Head is the suburbanised peninsula overlooking the northern half of Dublin Bay, a headland that is geographically dominated by three tall peaks, Binn Éadair or the “Summit of Éadar” (anglicised as the Ben of Howth), Sliabh Mhártain or the “Mountain of Mártan” (rendered into English as Shielmartin Hill or Shelmartin) and Dún Aill “Fortress of the Cliff” (variously called… Read More Uaigh Éadaoine, Éadaoin’s Grave, Hill Of Howth

Celtic Cosmology, Perspectives from Ireland and Scotland

Over the last two decades relatively few studies have been published analysing the cosmological traditions of the Celtic-speaking peoples, at least by academic authors. There was a lot of interest in such matters in the 1980s and early ‘90s, coupled with tentative suggestions about the composition of native Irish or Welsh beliefs in the composition of the… Read More Celtic Cosmology, Perspectives from Ireland and Scotland

Oíche Shamhna Shona Daoibh

A pale yellow sun has sunk below the grey horizon here in Baile Átha Cliath and the Feis Shamhna is upon us, the sunset-to-sunrise festival of Samhain which marks the start of the winter in the ancient Celtic calendars of Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man (and probably the rest of the Celtic world too). The event gives us the Christianized All Saints’… Read More Oíche Shamhna Shona Daoibh

Seanchas – Irish, Scottish And Manx Mythology And Folklore

For those of you with an interest in early, middle and early modern indigenous Irish literature and post-Medieval folklore (Irish and Anglicised-Irish), here is a collection of my articles, long and short (though two are unfinished). Naturally it covers the national traditions of Scotland and the Isle of Man too. Tuatha Dé Danann Na Fomhóraigh Lucharacháin An… Read More Seanchas – Irish, Scottish And Manx Mythology And Folklore

A Resurgence Of Anti-Irish Racism In The United States – Or Harmless Stereotyping?

When most people speak of racism against the Irish they automatically think of Britain and more specifically England. The history of anti-Irishness in our Anglo-Celtic neighbour is a long one, with Medieval roots. It was the Norman-French invasion and conquest of Britain in the 11th and 12th centuries that gave it real impetus. Up to that time… Read More A Resurgence Of Anti-Irish Racism In The United States – Or Harmless Stereotyping?

Lá Fhéile Bríde Shona Daoibh!

Its the first of February and the first day of Spring in the Irish calendar so happy Lá Fhéile Bríde to you all. Or as some of us prefer to say, happy Iombolg! Above is the image of a Crosóg Bríde, “Bríd’s Cross”, a traditional Christianised Iombolg symbol formed from rushes or more rarely straw. Below is a slightly less Christianised symbol that may have been associated with the goddess-turned-saint, Bríd.… Read More Lá Fhéile Bríde Shona Daoibh!

The rise and fall of the Knights Templar in Ireland. (via Irish History Podcast)

The great and informative Irish History Podcast carries a piece on the Knights Templar in Ireland… When we think of the Knights Templar, we picture the Middle Eastern Crusades or Dan Browne’s fantasy novel the The Da Vinci code. However this fascinating organisation were very much part of European society in the 12th and 13th… Read More The rise and fall of the Knights Templar in Ireland. (via Irish History Podcast)