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.
Most of you will no doubt be aware by now that I have returned to full-time education. Well, I’m about to start my second year, but you can imagine how my ears pricked up during last year’s induction… Read More
The evidence for women poets in ancient Ireland is fragmentary, to say the least, but it exists. Resistance seems to stem more from modern prejudice concerning gender norms projected onto the past by current scholars and archaeologists, according to feminist archaeology.
If you are planning your visit to Ireland, I highly recommend one of Treasa’s Walking Tours of Tara. They take about two hours, and must be pre-booked, as there are only thirty places available on each tour. Be dressed for inclement weather… this is Ireland, after all!
Welcome to a new feature on Aliisaacstoryteller. Are you planning a visit to Ireland? Over the coming weeks, I’ll be featuring places in Ireland that I love, and which are, I think, well worth a visit. Some will be familiar to you, others will get you off that beaten tourist track, and make your visit to Ireland a more memorable and unique one. Today we’re visiting somewhere near and dear to my heart, Deerpark Forest, on the shores of Lough Ramor in Co Cavan, so get your walking shoes on!
The Split Rock is a giant boulder thought to have been carried down the slopes of the Ox Mountains and dumped in its current position by glaciers. But of course what really happened is it was thrown by the hand of that mighty legendary hero of Ireland, Fionn mac Cumhall.