Athbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh (pronunciation Ah-vleen fwee vosh-ah gheev) Happy New Year to you all, and thank you for supporting Aliisaacstoryteller last year! I hope 2018 will be good to you. I can’t believe we’re already two weeks… Read More
They are instantly recognizable, and have spawned a whole genre of tourist souvenirs. They are worth seeing, though, and can be found at many early Irish monastic sites. I saw these recently at Clonmacnoise. the cross of the… Read More
After all, we have plenty of them. Most of our holy wells are nowadays named after famous and beloved Christian saints, mostly Patrick and Bridget, but also some others, too. Personally, I think these were sacred springs long… Read More
The old festivals seem to me to fit perfectly into the cycle of seasons and the passing of the year. And also with the ebb and flow of my blood, or the beating of my heart, or my body clock, whatever you want to call that natural instinctual internal part of oneself. You may try and suppress it, but it’s always still there. If you feel the same, here are some places in Ireland that are associated with Samhain which you might like to visit: Tlachtga, the Mound of Hostages at Tara; Magh Slecht, and Oweynagat.
The Witches Throne is a huge kebstone carved with armrests at the base of cairn T at the highest point of Loughcrew. It measures 3 m (10 ft) across, and 1.8 m (6 ft) high, and is estimated to weigh in the region of 10 tons. From here, according to local legend, a giant witch known as the cailleach sat and surveyed the extent of her domain. If you are brave enough to sit in her seat, she may grant you a single wish!
Why not spend the night at Ross Castle, one of Ireland’s most haunted castles this Halloween… if you’re brave enough! Not only does Ross Castle have ghosts, it has a fascinating and mysterious history. Go on… I dare you!
In 1895, Bridget Cleary was the last woman in Ireland to be burned as a witch. Although not officially declared or supported by the Catholic church, priests at the time told police they were aware of something untoward, but did not act upon it. Bridget died a violent and agonised death surrounded by friends and family who did nothing to help her.
St Féichín’s Way is a 3km loop walk around the ancient monastic settlement at Fore. It takes in a selection of the historic sites associated with the monastery, as well as areas of natural beauty. Fore comes from the Irish Fhobhair, meaning ‘the town of the water springs’. The monastery was founded there by St Féichín in 630AD, where it is said there were as many as three hundred monks and two thousand students in residence at any one time, so it was quite a busy and thriving community in its heyday.