49 Responses

  1. John | English Wilderness at |

    Fascinating list. :-) I’ve just been checking out wikipedia for more details.

    A happy Saint Patrick’s Day to you ;-)

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  2. Laoise at |

    I can’t believe that you’ve forgotten merrows and sheeries and Old Boneless! As an Irish girl those stories were hammered into me from birth!

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    1. Moppo at |

      And what about Cú Chulainn? The Irish hero who’d become so furious in battle he wouldn’t know friend from foe, but could fight whole armies?

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  3. Fionn at |

    As regards to no.3 Finn MacCool, you could have showed the proper spelling of his name(Fionn Mac Cumhaill)

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    1. Emma at |

      And that he didn’t mean to eat the fish at all. Finegas the poet, who Fionn lived with, was supposed to. Burning his finger was an accident.

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  4. ubaldo at |

    i think the Lockness monster is irish, and pretty damn famous and should be in this list

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    1. Fionn at |

      The Lochness monster is scottish

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      1. sophie at |

        my dad said that his mum sometimes heard the banshee calling and told my dad that someone around the area

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    2. james at |

      loch ness is scottish you prawn!

      Reply
  5. Jessica at |

    Um actually the Dagda was a god in Irish mythology and was considered a “father-figure” and high king of the Tuatha De Danan not a priest or druid as they were known.

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  6. wombat at |

    What about Wilie John McBride, there is a modern Irish legend for you! Happy St.Patrick’s day from here in Australia.

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  7. Uncle B at |

    Ergot? Too much whiskey? No pot in Ireland, so what gives? Love to dream, love the mysticism, unfortunately, born with an Anglo-Saxon mind, can only see in blwck and white, and suffer greatly for this!

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  8. Jerry at |

    Nice MTG art hahaha

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  9. cazz at |

    Referring to Saint Patrick
    Him getting rid of the” snakes from Ireland ” was the term used for him removing protestant religion from Ireland. Not a nice thing though, but good list =D

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    1. rugbyplayer18 at |

      Not a bad thing either! lol

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      1. Halcyon at |

        Either you’re catholic or an atheist. Both are very bad things.

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        1. rugbyplayer18 at |

          Im a catholic/taeg/provo or whatever u want to call it. Id much rather be a catholic than a sour orange b*****d which u appear to be

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          1. Jane at |

            St Patrick was not ‘getting rid of protestants’ – the Reformation had not happened then, he was trying to bring christianity and get rid of pagans. Not everything about Ireland is about protestants and catholics

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          2. Jane at |

            whatever you are, you clearly don’t know your history. The Reformation hadn’t happened when St Patrick chased all the snakes out, it was the pagans he was trying to get rid of by converting them to christianity. Keep the sectarianism out of a nice site about celtic myths

            Reply
    2. Ken at |

      Great synopsis. Personally i cant stand leprechauns. Some other great ones are

      The Dullahan: the original headless horseman who would ride a black horse, carry his head in one hand and whip made of a human spine in the other. He delivers instant death to anyone whos name he mentioned

      Cú Chulainn: the greatest warrior in Irish myth. Single handedly took on all the armies of Ireland i single combat while his ulster comrades were under a curse of pregnancy pains. see the Tán Bó Cullaige

      not to mention Balor of the evil eye, Na neamh maribh (zombies created by the daghda), the morrigan (shape hipting goddess of war)

      Reply
  10. podge at |

    Well now Protestantism didnt start til Martin Luther in Germany, over a thousand years after St Patrick

    also theres Plenty of Pot in Ireland if you know where to look ;)

    Reply
  11. mac11irl at |

    Another little problem with the Fionn Mac Cumhaill story… he didnt decide to eat the salmon of knowledge, it was another old guy. fionn stuck his finger in the salmon to see if it was cooked, Got burned, and put his finger in his mouth. Thus he was the first to eat of the Salmon, and and so he got all the knowledge before the old man.

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  12. Chicken at |

    I can’t believe Tir na nOg or the Fianna isnt here! what irish child doesnt know those stories!!

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  13. Chewey at |

    What about Cú Chulainn? He is one of the most well known legends in Ireland – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C%C3%BA_Chulainn

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  14. Anna at |

    That first picture of a ‘Banshee’ isn’t actually a Banshee as the figure in the image is male.

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    1. viv at |

      and you could add a bit in about the banshee’s comb. my granny used to say to never pick up a comb on a beach because it belonged to the banshee and it would encourage death and at the very least bad luck in your house.

      In fairness a lot of what we do encourages bad luck apparently. my granny freaks if you cut your toe nails on a sunday!
      she truly believes in it. i think the younger generation take it as a bit of fun and good stories. but there is that little tiny bit you that doesnt want to tempt fate!

      Reply
  15. ruth at |

    I’m Irish, and this is an Americans vision of Irish “myths”. NONE of us Irish believe in this stuff. Its all what foreign people think we believe. Sites like this annoy me SO MUCH.

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    1. Eyeless Dog Pawless Dog Loveless Dog at |

      They’re bound to be wrong. Please forgive them.

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      1. meow meow cats at |

        i am full irish and i heard a banshee in ireland once and then like a month later my great grandma died mysteriously

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    2. Conor at |

      Ruth,

      Modern Ireland and Ireland up until the turn of the 20th century are very, very different. While you might be right when it comes to modern Ireland, the people of Ireland, up until the end of the 19th century/beginning of the 20th century did indeed believe these myths to be completely true. There are still some old-timers who believe in these myths, and if you look for them, they will give you tours of fairy circles, for instance (I’ve been shown the locations– and no, it was no rouse). You may call these people eccentrics then, but you have to remember that they came of age in a different time and place. Modernization and urbanization seriously change a country. Remember, back then, Ireland was mostly a rural country. Today, one of Ireland’s biggest industries is technology. Times change. And I can totally see where you are coming from– many of my friends that live in Ireland are quite ambiguous about these stories– but you have to admit these myths and legends are incredibly unique and help to set Ireland apart from other countries of the world. I think it’s something to be proud of, though the commercialization and exploitation of these beliefs hurts them, and is what I think you are complaining about mostly. I am of course biased, I am Irish, but still. That is all.

      Reply
  16. Stevie at |

    I’m Irish too, and of course we don’t believe in this anymore! No one says we do, even here. Sites like this do their best to keep the old legends alive.

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  17. Flu-Bird at |

    Have you ever seen the disney movie DARBY OGILL AND THE LITTLE PEOPLE The part with the banshee is pretty scary

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    1. Conor at |

      I loved this movie growing up. It was probably my first exposure to some of the beliefs of the Irish (I was born in America, but my father is from Ireland). Actually, the director of Darby O’Gill was a friend of my father. Never met him, but I met his brother, who was an actor. This film was Sean Connery’s first film actually, and is worth noting for that reason alone!

      Reply
  18. MaNouDi at |

    While none of you may actually believe it, if it weren’t for such sites, people like me who have a genuine interest in folklore wouldn’t have much opportunity to learn it. Not all of us were lucky enough to be born in Ireland or hear the tales as kids!

    Reply
  19. seaScorpius at |

    Many people are regarding saint Patrick as either “myth” “legend” and “real” or “not real”. I did my history project on him a few years ago and the “true” stories are something of a completely different area. Apparently, Patrick was born in Wales 100 years before the stories said he was born and at young age committed a sin (most likely murder due to later on scenarios), got sold into slavery (true) and only converted to Christianity as a mark of rebellion or due to ease his loneliness. When he tried to escape by boat, the people there refused to let him on without first greeting them in a much perverse act of friendship – by sucking their tits -. Patrick refused (surprise, surprise) and was the sold into slavery again in France where a Christian archbishop saw him and took him under his wing. After many years of study he applied to be a bishop and at first was deemed unfit after his friend betrayed him and told the order about his “sinful” act as a child. But after a while he was let in and was sent to Ireland (not returning to Wales) with a mission to convert to “barbarians” a.k.a Pagans. He did so by killing all the druids first (chasing all the “snakes” out of Ireland) so that the Celts (Celtic was the name of the era. Iron age is acceptable too) could only follow one religion, Christianity. He then basically flipped the birdie at the Christian religion and did it half-assed. Converting he Pagans only half way into Chritisan-Paganism, He fought off all other invaders such as the Prince of England at the time and stopped the Christian church from meddling in his affairs until the time that he died (yet again 100 years before the bedtime story states).

    Other than that, it’s a pretty good list. =D

    Reply
    1. sensibleken at |

      I’d take issue with a lot of this and ask for references for all of it.

      The idea that Patrick ‘killed all the druids’ is ludicrous, not only is there no evidence of it being a violent conversion, he could hardly have single handedly have killed them. Even if he did have an army of converts to help him out.

      By interpreting the driving of the snakes as a metaphor for killing druids you have fallen for a modern interpretation. The fact is that people writing the lives of saints in the medieval period made up ludicrous tales about them to continue the ‘great feat’ tradition in Irish story telling, the lives of St Columba and Bridgit are equally full of such tall tales, from bringing people back from the dead to fighting the loch ness monster. They are simply stories to make the early christian missionaries look more impressive than their pagan counter parts.

      And what English prince or other invaders did he fight off

      Reply
  20. canadaeh at |

    In the Movie “Harvey” (1950) with Jimmy Stewart the giant rabbit Harvey was a Pooka.

    Reply
  21. eb at |

    i live in irland i think i was a very interisting list i all ways had an fascination about faries and ghost mostly because were i live i supposed to be haunted because a devil worshiper owned it and grew up with a fairy tree in one of m dads field thanks found it very interisting lol thaannnkkkkkkkssssss

    Reply

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