Wednesday, March 30, 2011



was a farmer from Galway/Clare who was a lease holder and owed the landlord 3 years back rent.

When the landlord advised Willaim he had one week to pay up or be out on the side of the road ,Liam advised him he was going to Galway next day with a load of wheat and when the wheat was sold he would pay up.

On the way he met a gentleman who asked about the wheat.
Liam said there was a ton and the gentelman offered to pay top price for it.

He directed Rooney to the boreen on his left to the big house and he would be there to give William his money.

When Liam came to the place a small lad came and wished him 100 thousand welcomes and took a sack of the grain. A second little boy came, welcomed Liam and took a sack on his back.

Soon all the wheat in his cart was gone.

Liam went to the Big House with the master to eat, but after a mouth full of food he fell asleep and fell under the table.

The enchanter of the house then cloned a likeness of William and sent this imposter home to Liams wife and the man went and laid on Liams bed and died.

The wife came and keened Liam and washed his body with hot water and laid out the dead likeness on a board.
The neighbors came and keened the body and pity the pooor young wife.
But she was not too grief sticken as she was young and William was old.
So a day later Laim was buried and there was no remembrance of him.

The now widowed wife asked her servant boy to marry her but he wisely required she wait a week.
The real Liam ,after 7 days and 7 nights sleep was awakend[ D'uis] by a little boy and he gave Laim his money and told him his horse and cart ahd been sent home.

William Rooney can home himself late at nigth and no one saw him come.

on that moring Laims wife and the servant boy went to the priest to ask him to marry them.

The priest asked for the marrage money.
The wife said no money but she had a pig he could have.
The Priest married them and said he would send for the pig.

When Liam came to his door he struck it to be opened and the wife and servant boy said,

'Whose there?'

'It is I', say Laim. 'Open the door for me.'

The wife refused to open and said it was a great shame for him to return after being 7 days in the grave.

Laim sadi she was mad and she retorted that eveyone in the parish knew he was dead and decently buried.

She told him to go back to his grave and she would have a Mass said for his soul.

So Liam went to the stable where were the horse and the pig and fell asleep on the straw.
The priest next morning sent a little lad to Laim Rooneys house to bring the pig.

The boy went to the house and knocked on the door with a stick.

'Whose there?'

The boy said the priest had sent him to get the pig.
The wife sent him to the stable and when he began driving out the pig Liam awoke and said.
'Where are you going with my pig?'

The boy recongnised him and fled in teror to the priest.
'What on you?', asked the priest and the boy told him Liam Rooney was in the stable.

'You lie!' said the priest and the priest and the boy went together to the stalbe to turn out the pig.

'Where are you going with my pig Father Patrick?', says Liam, still laying in the straw and away in teror went the priest.

Liam went to the priests house knocked but the priest would not let him in.
'Go back to your grave William Rooney', he says.

Liam said he was not dead and never had been.

'I saw you dead', says the priest from his window.

'And put you in the grave and made a service over you.'
The priests ordered Liam out of his sight and said he would have a Mass for him tommorrow.

Liam went home but his wife would not let him in.
So he said he may as well go pay the rent.

The landlord shut the door and everone on the road ran from him and when Liam knocked the lordship came to the window and asked,
'What are you wanting?'

'Ive come to pay the rent', says Liim.
Go back to your grave and I'll forgive your rent,'said the Lord.

Liam said he wanted a receipt in writing that he was paid up clean till next May.
The Lordship gave him his paper and he came home to his own door but his wife would not let him in.

Liam said he was no deciver as she thought but had paid his Master 3 years rent and would have possession of his own house or know why.

He went to his barn and got a big iron bar and broke in the door.
The wife and her newly married servant boy were in great fear that the Resurection and end of the world werr coming.

'Why did you think I was dead?' he asked.
'Everybody in the parish saw you dead.' she replied.
'Your body for the Devil', crys Liam.
'Get me something to eat.'

He ate and drank and she said 'Its a miracle.'

Next day Liam and a band of men went to the churchyard and dug open the grave and lifted up the coffin and a big black dog jumped out of it with Liam and the men after it.

When the dog arrived at the house by the boreen, the ground opened the house desended and was never again seen, but the big hole is still there this day.

They then went to tell everything to the parish priest who disolved the marriage beteen Laims wife and the servant boy.

william Rooney lived for years after and left great wealth and he was and still is remembered in Clare/Galway.

Presented by
Judi Donnelly
copyyright 29 March 2011

sourse: Beside the Fire, Douglas Hyde, Irish Academic Press, 1978



About 1832 Samuel Lover the poet , painter and song writer of Dublin town published a compendium of Legends and Tales of Ireland he had amassed from boyhood.
One of these is the Devils Mill rememembered as a ruin of a mill under great trees on the waters edge of the River Liffy having since been surrounded by stone flood walls.

At the place of the old ruined mill he was approched by an old man with silver hair who asked him if he were there to,
'Takin' off the old mill'
meaning to distroyand tear down the ruin under the trees.
When he was told this was the fate he asked to see the drawing of it.[Lover was a painter],
and on seeing them he approved the images as valid of the water wheel and great grinding stone first laid by Himself.

Wanting to know who was 'Himself' Lover asked,
'And who was Himself ?'
'Are ye a stranger here?'. asked the silver hair.
'Almost'. replied Lover.

'Ye never heard of the Liffy Mill and how it was built?'
The old man was suprised thinking everyone rich and poor, young and old knew the tale and on this note, Lover brought out some lunch and a small flask of whiskey and asked the old timer to join him and tell him the story.

He offered a slice of ham and they drank to their health and the two sat on the sod beside the river stream.

He began by telling, In time back ,a man owned a great deal of land about here that he had not come by honestly but by a crooked turn and he 'sold the pass'.
Lover asked the meaning of this to as he had never heard how the pass was sold and Himself betrayed King and Country.

But as it was the landholder had got the power of money for the lands and what not but the more he got the more he craved and there was never an end to his striving for gold and lust for the Lucre of gain.

At last the Devil, God Bless Us, came to him and promised him heaps of money and all his heart could devise if Himself would sell his soul in exchange.
surely ,says Lover he did not make such a dreadful bargain.

'Oh no', says silver hair, he was too cunning for that and bad as he was he had regard for his poor sinful soul and would not give it up to the Devil.
But instead set out to make a bargain with the old chap and get what he wanted as well as stay out of harms way.

The bargain was struck in this a way.
The Devil would give him all the gold he ever wanted and let him alone as long as possible and the Tempter promised him a long day and it would be a great while before he'd want Himself at all ,at all and when this time came the Devil would keep his hands of him as long as the Lord can give him some work to do.

When the baragain was made, the Colonel Himself says,
'Give me all the gold I want.'
you must fill me that room that the Colonel had cleared out on purpose to be filled with golden guineas.

The Devil began to shovel in the guineas and the Colonel waited below in his own parlour downstairs.

Hundreds of thousands of Guineas were shoveled till the Devil got tired[tuirse] and he wondered why it took so long to fill the room.
Bad luck to me says the Devil at the working once more while when contemplating this he saw a heap of guineas in the middle of the floor pile getting littler and littler and disappearing like corn in a hopper of a mill.
'Is that the way with you', cries he ,and sees the gold running down through a hole in the floor to the Colonels room below.
Pretending to wait for the Devil. Not content with the 2 rooms of quineas but shoveling them into a closet as they fell down.

When the Colonel saw the Devil above who said,
'Hello neighbor',
he grew white as a sheet as he was found out by the red eye staring at him from above.

'You villian!', cried the Devil.' Bad Luck to you tring to cheat me.'

When the colonel asked forgiveness this once, the Devil says
'You theiving Rogue.'
'Im not angry with you at all ,at all but like you better.'

He said the Colonel had got enough for this time and only had to say the word when he wanted more and so they parted.

The Colonel went on prospering in the world and never wanted for money or profit and in the course of time brought great estates and was a great man in Ireland.

They say at last, after many year in prosperity, the old Colonel was struck with years and a misgiving of conscience and a fear of death over his wicked doings and while this was upon him ,the Devil came and said the Colonel shoud go with him.

The old Colonel joked that he was on his way to a party and asked the Devil would not inconvinence him.

The Devil said he would call next day and when he came in the evening, Himself reminded him of the old bargain that as long as he could give him work he could not do, he was not obliged to go.

Thats true says the Devil. 'I never break my word.'
'Honor Bright' says the Devil.

The Colonel then asked the old chap to build him a mill down by the river and have it finished by the morrow.
'My pleasure' says the old Nick.

Next morn the whole county round ran to see the brand new mill by the riverside where the evening before had been but rushes and one and all agreed the mill was not good and these the stone you are taking off laid by the Devil Himself.
The big coign stone with 4 fingers and thumb on it.

The Colonel was not troubled but thought up more ways to trick the Devil with some thing he coulde not do.

He charged him to make a rope out of sand of the sea.
Old Nick came and Colonel said he woulnd not like to go with the Devil alive and would the Devil please kill him.
'With pleasure' says old Nick.

The choise to the Colonel to die by hanging with a rope made from the sand of the sea.

'Always have one about me', says the Devil.

The Colonel grew white as a sheet and says thats not a sand rope and the Devil hit him in the face with the end of it and the sand went into one of the Colonels eyes with tears and pain.

'That beats all!' said the Colonel.
'will you give me one more offer.

'you dont deserve it'. says the Devil but he said he didnt care if he did and the Colonel asked him to stop a womans tongue.
The coloner asked that his wifes tongue should be stopped for a month and the Devil obliged.
'She'll never trouble you again', and in pops the Colonels daugher sayings he mother had just dropped dead.

The Colonel lost his 7 senses at this news.

The Colonel asked only to be left alone till he buried the poor wife.

The Devil left the old sinner off for 3 days and the wife buried.
But when the daughter had fainted the Colonel had opened her dress and took of a gold chain with a diamond cross and ,Lord be Praised!, the Devil did not dare take the old sinner while had the sign of the cross in his pocket.

The old Colonels wife was eligantly buried and prayers heard were taken to heart by him and the 'Word of God' came to his poor sinful soul at last.

For 3 days of grace that was given him the old Colonel did nothing but read the Bible from morn till night. Nor eat or drink did not pass his lips that whole time.

When the 3 days were past and in the dead hour of the night he got a tap on the shoulder.
'Its me' said old Nick with coal of fire in his eyes.

'Another day says the Colonel.'

'Not another hour.'

'1/2 hour.'

'Not a quarter.'

'A few minutes.'

'Leave off your palavering you sneaking old sinner', says Satan.
'You know you are bought and sold to me.'
'So come along at once.'

The Devil put out his claw but the old Colonel fast held the Bible and begged to be let alone till the flicker of candle in the socket was burned out.

'Have it so.' And old Nick spit on his sinner.

But the old Colonel not to be outdone, snatched up the flickering candle, put it in the Holy Book and quenched the light.

The Devil gave a roar and vanished in a flash and the Colonel fainted away in his chair.

The servants heard the noise as the Devil tore off the roof as he left the house and they brought the Master round again.

From that day on, he was an altered man and had the Bible read him every day as he no longe had his sight, for the Devil hit him with the rope of sand and his spit .

So the Silver haired Cronicler ended his tale beside the Liffy as the Colonel was too able for the Devil and with the good Book was Saved,
Glory be to God!

presented by
Judi Donnelly
copyright March 29 2011

sourse: Legends and Tales of Ireland, Samuel Lover, RHA , Simkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent and Co, London
Glascow ,Thomas D ,Morison publication, undated

Monday, March 28, 2011


Oisin many years later

When Oisin had fought his lifes battles and become the only survivor of the Battle of Gabra, Oisin M Fionn was taken over the Atlantic ocean by the Faery NIAMh to her home in the land of youth below the ocean waves.

He stayed there for 150 years* but desired to return to his home in Erinn where his youth and manhood had been spent.
Although Niamh gave her consent she wept when he mounted his white steed and warned Oisin that if his feet touched earth he would never retun to Tir na n Og again and that he would become weak and old.

But when Oisin arrived in Erinn ,the Heros of old were not remembered.

Almain lis the fortress was overgrown with thistles and weeds and moss covered the stones of the Fian Dunn.
The entrances that once shielded warriors from their foes were open and unguarded and now prayers were being said in bulidings of stone under a cross and a church spire.

At the pass of Wattles, he found St Patrick building a new church.
He was Cuma [sorry] and as he rode up the Glann a Smoll, a crowd of men were trying to raise a hugh stone on a waggon and asked his aid.
As He stooped to heave the stone to the wagon floor, the girth of his saddle snapped and Oisin fell to the ground.

The white steed of Niamh flew away and the old Hero Oisin m Fionn ,lay on the hillside, a feeble and weak old man.

They took him to the Baile a Cliath, the hill of wattles, now called Dublin city and St Patrick kept Oisin in his house.

St Patrick tried to make Oisin a christian,but Oisin remained true to his own beliefs and lamented the loss of the Heros .

St Patrick often got him to tell stories of the Fiann and their many battles and hunting chases, or of some romance or enchantments of druids.

Oisin did not like the poor food Patrick had as he had been used to great feis of venison from the deer that the Fian had baked between heated stones in an oven on the moor or hillside.

Oisin said they were bigger and better of size when the Foinn were in power and the christians did not believe him so he go a fellow, a gille to drive him out in the war chariot next day to a dallan [pillar stone] on Kildrare plain where he told the driver to dig out the earth at the south side of th pillar where was found a rusted large spear, the Dord Fionn,battle bugle of Fian and bog butter.

Oisin told the gille to sound the horn and when he did so he was terrified at the sound.
Distant thunder rumbled and a flood of furious birds ran toward them. Their wings spread and legs like those of battle steeds.

The hound shivered on his chain.

'Give him a piece of butter and untie him', says Oisin and now the hound is barking and welping and charging the birds.
The hound seized one of the bird and the rest were fast flying to the 4 winds.

The hound than came at the men with mad eyes and his jaws open like a cave.
'Hold the spear level and let him fall on it', says Oisin and so it happened.

When the battle was done, the gilli took the leg and thigh of the great bird and returned with old Oisin to Ath Claith in the war chariot.

At Glann a Smoll [glen of the thrushes] they gatheerd the berrys of the quicken [rowan]tree and at Izods Tower, an ivy leaf.
These large old items convinced the church household staff that Oisin knew what he was talking about.

* the reference to Oisin living in Tir na Og for 300 years is the time of a derbfine of 4 generations and would give the age of Fionn 300 years before St Patrick came to Eire as being about 132 BC.

These legends were told from the mouth of an old woman who had no books and had in her mind a great deal of information on legends and sacred historys and heathen mythology.

Many of the tales were told to her by a wandering peddlar who was poet and an usurer.
He had bad manners around the small farmers, tradesmen and comfortable peasant who provide him resting places throughout the country.

Dhonocha Rua was his name.

He was tried for his life by the summer azzizes at Wexford in 1775 for his poetry and pamphlets but he was acquited with the help of George Ogle and so continued his wandering life.

The four lands after death

1. From clay to Faery

2. Many Colored Land [fire]

3. Land of Wonder

4. Land of Promise

presented by
Judi Donnelly
copyright March 26 2011

sourse : Legendary Fcitions of The Irish Celts ,Patrick Kennedy, 1865, Mcmillan and Co., London


Oisin at Tir Na Og part 2

In the Spring of 282 AD or so after Cormac m Airt, Ard Ri , high king of Ireland had broken the mighty Fian at the Battle of Gabra, the remanants were hunting game venison on Lock Lein [Lean] at Kerry when they raised a herd of deer from the grass and the hounds gave chase with the men of the Fian in full pursuit close behind.

As they road foward they saw a rider coming toward them from the west and soon saw it was a maiden on a white steed and they reigned in from the chase as she approached.
Fion, father of Oisin, was greatly suprized.
She wore a golden diadem on her head and brown robe of silk from China spangled with stars of red gold.
This fastened by a golden Brooch.

The robe fell from her shoulders down to the ground and her yellow hair fell over her robe in bright ringlets.
She had blue eyes clear and bright as dew drops ,and small white hands controlling her steeds golden bit and she was more graceful than a swan on Loch Lein.
The horse wore a flowing mantle and 4 shoes of yellow gold.

Fionn called out to her,
"who art thou?' 'Ce bionn tu?'
'Tell the name of your country and why you have come.'

She replied she had come from her county in the western sea, daughter of the king of Tir na n Og and she was called
NIAMh [wash time] of the golden hair.

She said she had come to Erinn because she loved his noble son OIsin the Fawn as he was brave, gentle, noble and kind.

Oisin, when he saw the princess from Tir na Og fell in love with her at first sight and asked her to be his wife.

She placed him under geasa.
A pledge which a hero never breaks , to come with her to Tir na n Og the land of youth forever.
A country full of gold, silver,jewels,honey wine and fruit all year round.

She promised him as her dowry 100 swords, 1000 silk and satin robes, 100 horses, 100 hounds, herds of cows, flocks of sheep with golden fleeces, coats of protective mail [armour] and a special sword from which no one ever escaped.
Each day in Tir na NOg were feis and fun and harpers playign sweet music.
There was no decay or death in Tir na n Og and life was always young and full of beauty.

When it was settled and the Fiann knew he was going they shouted 3 shouts in grief for his loss.
But Fionn said he would never see his son Oisin again and Oisin shed tears and kissed his fathers cheeks.

He than mounted the White steed with his lady Niamh and the steed galloped away to the west.

When he reached the strand of the great sea ,he shock himself, neighed 3 times and rode over the face of the deep sea like a cloud in March.

At last they lost sight of Erinn land and on the journey passed islands, cities, lime white mansions, Griannans and palaces.

A lovely maiden on a brown steed passed them holding a golden apple and a young warrior on a white steed went after her in his long flowing mantle of yellow silk with a golden hilted sword.

They came to the land of virtues ruled by Fomor of the Blows and his Queen ,the daughter of the king of the land of Life.

Fomor had kidnapped her by force from her own county.

But she put the king under geasa never to ask her to marry him before she had found a champion to fight for her against him.
No Hero could ever be found with courage to meet the giant Fomor in single combat.

Oisin of course took on this task to kill the giant kidnapper and free the lady.

This blue eyed captive princess from the land of life fed her guests on choise food and drinking horns of mead and sweet wine goblets and
in tears, told her guests, seated in golden chairs that a long as the cruel giant lived she would never return to her own country.

oisin pledged to meet the giant who then ,large and ugly, came into the palace with a great iron club in his hand.
He threw down his load of deerskin and chllenged Oisin to battle with a loud rought cry.

Oisin fought him for 3 days and 3 nights without food, drink or sleep intil he killed the giant Fomor and cut of his head.

The 2 maidens Niamh and the princess shouted 3 crys of joy when they saw the monster dead but Oisin was near death himself covered with wounds and dizziness and feebleness from the battle.

The Princes of Life applied balsms and healing herbs to his body and he was healed.
The giant was then buried in a great carn and an ogam stone with his name placed over the top of the carn.

The next day Niamh and Oisin resumed their journy westward over the clear green sea and like a cloud in March they again set sail.
A storm arose and lighing flashed but their course was straignt on and when the sun shone again they were at a county full of flowers and plains ,blue hills, and bright lakes and water falls [eas].

A golden palace awaited them covered with gems of blue green, crimson and yellow and this the Tir na n Og at last.

The king and his men came out to greet the travelers, with his crown on his head of gold and diamonds and the queen followed with 100 young maids in her train.

The king gave Oisin
100 thousand welcomes
Cead mile failte.

A banquet was held for 10 days and Niam and Oisin were married in holy wedlock.

After 300 years, Oisin had desire to return to Erinn and so he did with permission of the king of Tir na n Og and his daughter NIAMh.

Written by P W Joyce

published in the Great Folktales of Old Ireland, by Mary McGarry, 1972, Wolfe Publishers, London

presented by Judi Donnelly
copyright March 26 2011


Oisin the child

Fionn m Cumail grandson of the Easa Muin Eamna m Ruadraige the Great, warrior of Fianna was sweeping along a glen heading home from the chase when a lovely fawn was started and she fled toward Fiannas own Dun.

But when she lay down in the grass and was welcomed by his 2 hounds, Bran and Sceoluing, these being the children of his fathers sister Tuireann as she was being transformed from a human to female hound.

This being possible in the days of shape changing divinity where the supernatural mingled with the human and the animal forms.

Because of this Fionn chose not to kill such a beautiful beast and she followed him home with the friendly stag hounds.

Later this friendly deer became a beautiful fair haird woman.

She has been bewitched by Dana an Druid Fer Doirche [Doirte] for refusing his love and for 3 years been in the wild as a deer.

It was revealed to this enchanted deer that if she were within any fortress of the Fian of Erinn the dark mans power over her would be ended.

Hence she had come to Almain till only Bran and Sceoluing, being of human intellect, recognized her as they were of like nature.

Fionn was enchanted entirely by the princess and never left the Dun to fight or chase for months so lost was he in love.

But eventually the Loch Leannach [scandinavian] came to the bay of Ben Edair, to the hill of the oaks and he was forced to defend the eastern shore of Erinn.

They were away 7 days and on returning to Almain on the 8th day and not seeing his love at the ramparts of this mound Dun he was told by the dwellers of the fort [lis] that Saabh, that was her name ,had seen a likeness of the chief before the Dun and the music of the Dord Fionn and Saabh came forth down the pass and the gates to meet her love and the father of her unborn infant[ nai],
and thus rushed into the arms of a phanthom[fantom] with a hazel wand.

She was stuck by this magic wand and in a moment was turned once more into a gentle doe.

The two hounds subsequently chased her from the moat, as thrice she had tried to return to the safety of this Fian Dun.

Mo chuma!

None could save the stugling doe from the sorcerer .
All this tranformation done in less than 20 seconds.

Fionn was anguished and retreated to his private apartment till next day when the sun rose over the Liffy.

For 7 years he searched every corner of land for the Beloved Saabh and unless distracted by the chase or the battle againt the white strangers [the Norse] he was overpowered by an inrequited sadness.

In all this time he took none but the 5 hounds BRan, Sceoluing, Lomaire, Brod,Lomluath as these he could only trust with not to harm Saabh if he, by chance, came across her track.

Fionn and his chiefs were hunting on Ben Gulban in Sligo.
The dogs put up a terrible clammor and on coming up to them they found the 5 hounds of Fionn in a circle preventing their companion hounds in their attempt to seize a naked [nocht] stripling with long hair covering him from head to foot.

The child showed no fear of his peril and gazed on the Curia coming to him.
The dog fight was stopped and Bran and Sceoluing came and licked and fawned before the wild youth.

Fionn and the ridire [knights] came and caressed the childs head [Ceann] and his wildness began to change.

He was taken by the Fiann to their hunting sheds where he ate and drank and was clothed.

In the child features Fionn saw Saabh reflected and hoped this was her child of his 7 year search.

Fionn kept the child continually at his side.

His head to toe hair was cut with the avent of clothing and he acquired speech [Labaid] and he told of his past.

He had been shelterd by a 'hind', a doe, whom he loved, in a large park full of hills, deep valley streams, rocks and dark wood.
[Probably mcVeigh in north west Donegal].

He ate fruits and roots in the summer and in winter provisions were left in a cave for him.

A dark man the Fear Doirte came, sometimes softly sometimes loud and threatening to the doe, but she stayed away from him in fear.
He always left her in anger.

But there was no way to escape from the park surrounded by high steep cliffs and staight decents.

The Doirche ,after along time of soft and loud talk ,to which the hind remained aloof, struck her with a hazel rod and enchanted her to follow him leaving her small nocht son .

The child cried out but was powerless to follow and he fell to the ground ,exaused and insensate.

When he awoke he was on the side of a hill where days later the dogs discovered him.

The enclosure was gone. There were no cliffs or sharp sheer decents.
The youth was called OISIN, the fawn and became a sweet singer of Fianna of Erinn.

*The Fionn Loga are listed as direct desendants of Uigaine Mor of 300 BC and his ancestor melisians.

They seem to encompass several generations and eras.
Fionloga becoming Finnlug and Finngoll through Etain becoming Fintan who becomes Fionn son of Rugan Ruad or Ruaidri the Great who lived about 67 BC.

Fionns is listed as the father of Eocaid Feidnolac father of the 3 Finneamas [Lotar, Nar, and Bres], and 5 daughters Maebhe of Roscomain being one ,and her siser Clothra, sister of the Fineamas and progenator of Lugaid Riab ndearg.
Fionn is also listd as the father of Eochu Airem and Furbaide.

The Finnloga encompassed eras from the begining memories of Fintan of the Flood and the succeeding shape changing and Etain stories coming down from divinity tales to animal tales to king tales of the Gaels.

Presented by
Judi Donnelly
copyright March 26 2011

sourse: Legendary Fictions of the Irish Celts, Patrick Kennedy, Mac Millan and Co, London 1865

Friday, March 25, 2011

Folktales study by Alfred Nutt

Folktales study by Alfred Nutt

In 1910 Dr Alfred Nutt wrote a postcript to the Introduction of Douglas Hyde 'Beside the Fire' collection of Irish folklore which introduced a deeper meaning to the peasant lore then mere imaginative concoction in that the professor was able to disect the forms of stories into 3 distinct types.

1. Being stories of a prior divinity being in communication with mankind and desiring devine desires from the earth beings.

These godlike desires usaully revolving around a unity of form with mankind [sex and its new creation] and an ambrosiaic pleasant life.
An era of shape changing and aid to helpless hapless mankind where the god figure can often be outwitten by mere mortals even though they are wise and strong.

The mortal wants to secure the aid of the supernatural personified and has a relationship with the devine similar to the faery to the peasant.

A 1,200 year alliance of the supernatural being helping mortal man.

The supernatural forces are powerless without the cooperation of mortals and this is their Nemesis.

The inevitabilty fatalizm of them both is accepted.

Mankind must depend on the supernatural and the supernatural forces or beings are powerless without mankind.

An ideal of Animisim prevails in these early divinity stories as do forces.
There is a life force connection to all, not only human.
Each is a part of the greater unified interdependent whole beyond mankind alone.
These characterized by Fate as it applies to them.

Nutt defines types of stories as being in 3 catagories,
optomisic= nursery rymes
where the prince and the princess marry and live happily ever after

hero tales which present a hero and a villien.
All usually tragic in there endings with the death of young heros

'What the gods love die young.'

The 3 great hero tales explore the lives of semi gods and sons of gods as are expressed in Greek,Teutonic and Celtic lore

Zeus [Sky] confounds the Titan
Apollo [ap o llo] kills the Python [Pit ton]

Lug overpowers Balor

Indra outsmarts Vrilra

The Teuton and Iran myth expresess the power of good vs evil and express the final conflict 'Anses' as does Chirsitain/Jew and Muslim
and continues this through the end of time.

All the Hero sagas express tragedy.
All express magic and other world wonderland of gods, faery.
Old king are in being and when heros come to us they are liable to death and
decay [caoi]

This is the price they must pay to be in the neither world of Earth life.

The great Hero sagas are;

Cuchulain and Ferdiad

The faery tales are,
'Once upon a time' stories at times based on the actions of real persons in a distant unrevealed time no longer understood.
These too divide into the catagories of optomistic, human and tragic.
Such as the Gabhra ,Diarmaid of the Finn cycle.

The faerytale analogs to the life of the sacred tree.

The myth ,the epos, the fairy.

The tree is rooted in the soil and the decaying leaves mingle with the soil and earth and return in substance to the root of the tree to nurture it and keep it alive.

The wooden house likewise decays and mingles with the soil,
the earth ,but the brick or stone house leaves fragments and can be found.
The anology to the Cosmos .
All is connected. the space, the time, the forces, the animal the mortal and the gods of desire.

The tales also express a human to human realationsip as in
The king of Ireland son,
and in the Rooney storys.

The folk of Ireland are immemorially conservative in formula, structures of Fate and Nature and the Heredity.

They observe Faith, Sympathetic magic and ritual in all their stories From the old magic divinity powered tales to the hero sagas to the Faery relationship and the human to human relationships and these stuctures passed down from seanache to seanache for centures without the slightest deviation of tales or structure.

In reading Dr Nutts incisive postcript to the Hyde introduction to folklore tales and his classifcations anyalisis of the relaltionship of death to life ,
The breath crossing becoming the death and reabsorbtion.
The new life as expressed in the Cosmos and the great religions.

The ethos of Brahamin and Muslim Fate and Christain/Jewdeo renewal.

All ties into the old devine and fairy stories as told in the folklore by the long respected characters.
Some copied into the written form by the ollams and filia, the two dual records of the written and read corresponding to the oral folk remembrance passed down generation to generation from time immemorail connecting mankind and animal life to cosmic life.

Hero stories , fairy stories, divine stories, other world person stories, all being connected to Cosmic and Being stories.
The story of life and death and Fate.

The Irish dictionary of today provides us with no word for Fate.
Fath in Irish gaelic means reason or cause or motive.

A Fathach is a giant, like a titan.

A fathsceal is a parable or a legend
The stuff of folklore.

The English equivilant of Fate is cinn iuach or dan which means Fate or fatal.
A deadly blow.

a cinn is to devide or determine and additionaly plural use of ceann the head, many heads.

The only use of 'uach' in Irish is Uacht meaning testiment or will giving 'cenn i uach' meaning as the many headed testiment or will,
or the upper head .

Dan is interpreted as meaning a poem interpreting fate to be a poem or destiny.
Reviving into word an old meaning in the gaelic of a consept.

Modern Irish recongises 'f' the symbol as 'Fat' and eclipes itself.
So we define it as Fa, Fe, Fi ,Fo ,Fum ,of the fili and the dru.

The river of life and the close of the druid ,a verb
li the color and fe the fathom.
The color of the Fathom. A rainbow.

Dr Hyde is his introcution sadly points out the loss of the gaelic Irish where in 1847, 4 million spoke this tongue as their native mothers milk birth language and by 1849 in the holocast of the Great Famine the spoken Irish was nearly extinct.

He relates to us the mean art of the Shanache from Shawn Cunningham [Seagan O Cuineagain]
on the border of Roscomain and Mayo where he had never spoken English till 15 years of age.
He had been taught his lessons from a south Irish schoolmaster at a Hedge school who drilled him to memorize the Irish MS poems.

When a new schoolmaster was assigned a stick was placed about his neck to be marked whenever an Irish word slipped from his lips and notch was made when a child failed to speak English.

By these notches on the stick he was beaten and beaten again every time he was heard to speak his birth tongue, Irish ,regardless of his lack of Knowelege of English.

This Pavlovain beating devise was used all over Munster and Connacht to kill the Irish tongue and continued under the days of O Connell the Great Emancipator of Ireland whose statue stands over the north Liffy on O Connell St; and the Catholic priesthood and parlmiamentarians whose members also drove the Irish teachers out of their diocese and burned their Irish books.

The Irish thus acquired a fear and shame for speaking or understanding their native tongue and a stanger today is stil looked upon as a bible thumping Englishman in trying to speak a few Irish words.

Irish nationalist fell into a conformity with this assimalation by force doctrine and advised the Irish native that did not already know Irish to leave it alone.

And thus the great history written and oral of this island nation passed into confetti and oblivian.
Sold for pence to second hand book dealers and disperced like hedge fund packaged mortages, to the far corners of the earth.
America, Canada, Australia, New Zeland.
Gone to the four winds, the gaoth ceat, and lost to the Irish and the world forever.

In todays modern world of communications the folktale and the story are no longer recited or dramatised or sung as in the days when no electronic gagetry existed.
The populous will not sit still for them and go out rather than hear the literary works of their own ancestors and the past.
They would rather listen to the Geimneac na mbo and hence the misty past settles into a nonexistant being ,unknown and unfathomed by its own decendants.

Judi Donnelly
copyrigth 24 March 2011

sourse: Beside the Fire, Douglas Hyde, Irish Academic Press,
1978, from the London 1910 edition.
Republic of Ireland

Monday, March 21, 2011

A bit of teh O Neill

A Bit on the O Neill

The ONeill geneology is tattered and not complete in the historys.
These decendants of Aed Findliath and the Daughter of the king of Scotland ,Kenneth Mc Alpine who took the high kingship in 900 AD and held it for some 600 years between northern and southern decendants.

1296 Domnail m Brian O Neill
Brian m Aed Buide O Neill of Ulaid

Domnal won and becaem king.

By 1364 AD Niall Mor O Neill was an adequate ruler as was his son Niall Og father of Owen [Eogain] O Neill who ruled Tir Owen or Tyrone as it is known this day.

Owen died in 1456 and left sons Airt[1458] and Henry who ruled in Omagh the west part of Tyrone county.

Airts son Niall had 3 sons Hugh, Turlough [Terrance] and Filim.

And there is a Brain whose son McNeill was father to Conn ONeill father of Ferdorcha [dark one] known as Mathew father of Hugh the Great ONeill by his alliance with Joan Maguire of Fernmanagh.
His brother was Cormac O Neill.

Joan is also listed as the mother of Turlough O Neill, fathered by Henry M Felim Roe O Neill.
This Felim Roe,the red head, is probably the brother of Niall m Airt Mic Owen who died in 1505.

There is an older son of Owen O Neill called Felim who died of seisures 1460 Ad .
He was epyliptic.

Henry the brother of Airt.

Both boys sons of Owen O Neill.
Henry was the grandfather of Conn Bachach the lame O Neill of the Fews and Niall ONeill.

Niall was the father of Owen Bocht, Owen the poor ,also called Eugene,
while Conn Bacach was father of Conn McNeill m Brain m Airt which line produced the Great ONeill buried at Rome.

Conn also had a daughter called Judith.

One of his grandsons was called Dongaille of which a parent is not identified.

However Judith married Manus O Donnell who built Lifford castle on the Foyle River and the Dongaile sept is assocaited with that castle where the local Lifford jail,courthouse and city hall are now.

Judith died 21 August at 42 years of age in 1535.
She was born in 1493 a bit after Christopher Columbus discovered the new Word and landed for Spain at Hispanola Now Haiti and St Kits.

She is buried at St Francis Monastery in Derry as is Hugh Roe O Donnell when he died in 1537 and he is also buried at the St Francis monastery in Derry. Manus O Donnell replaced him.

In 1478 O Neill mac Airt O Neill preyed Tir Conaill and the O Neills generally were fighing each other.

Henry O Neills grandson ,Con Bacach, was master in Antrim and Down.
Conn Bachach was also the progenator of Mathew who is Fedorcha.

In 1552 Dongaileach of Ailech on Green Hill fought against Mathew M Conn of Dunngannon barony.

There is also a listing of a Rory Bacach O Neill in 1471 but no further linkage to his parents.

However Brain m Airt mic Owen m Niall Og m Niall Mor ruled in Down and Antrim in 1453 and was the progenator of Conn O Neill father of Niall O Neill.

In 1471 a plague was brought by ship to Assaroe [Eas Ruad] of the Erne river to Ballyshannon.
It spread to Fermanagh, Tir Connell, Ulster than invaded the south.

In 1477 a hurricane struck Ireland at St JOhn the Baptisst festival and again in 1478 at Epiphany [January 5].

In 1481 a war was held between Airt O Neills sons of Strabane/Omagh ane John Baoi o Neill of Antrim /Down

At this time before the English invasion,territory and sept were still clearly defined through 1400-1500 and each sept lands and tir were handed down to the sons of the fathers usually.

The Dinnsenshus identifies all these lands, both lord tuath and sept holdings, as the Bansenshus identifies all the mothers of famous or aristorcatic households.

The territory was named:

Tir owen land of Eogain
Inis Owen Island of Eogain
clana Baoi children of Aed Hugh Baoi m Bian m Airt m Owen m Niall m Niall Mor taking in some 200 years.

A derbfine was defined usually as 4 generations of the same ruling family and this may be composed, not as I formely believed, by 30 or so years as this age of reproduction, but by lifetime of one generation person =75 years x 4 = 300 years.

So a listing of names would be the great grandfather, the grandfather the father and the son.
Or the great grandson of the original progenator of the derbfine.

In 1485 Naghtan O Neill burned Cualad [Cuala] the Armagh ,son of Owen O Neill m Niall Og mic Niall Mor and in that year Henry 8 replaced Richard 3 as Englands king.

In 1497 Donnell O Neill made peace with Henry Og ONeill in the sping.

Henry resigned his title as lord to Donell.

Henry Og O Neill mic Turlough O Neill defeated Conn O Donnell at Atha Daire [ford of the oaks] where O Donnell was killed.

Conn son of Aed Roe O Neill was nominated to be the O Neill.
Hugh Roe resigned his lordship.

That year there was a famine in all Ireland.

The barony of Armagh belonging to Tuait Eacada went to Owen Mac Hugh mac Nectan m Airt.

The Ui Neill were decendants of Ailill one of the sons of Niall m Eaocaid Mugmedoin, Lord of Slaves in 400 AD.
They were children of Mong Finn, their mother.
The brother Brain are the Ui Briuin
Fiachra the Ui Fiachara of Connacht

Ui Ailella are decendants of Naill m Muigmedoin one of Nials 8 sons of whom Eogain is one.

The pattern of intermarriage in the septs of these ancient kings and the rivalry betwen them tatters the records now avaialable.

Although the Church in Rome may have a more replete copy of their lives and internicine fued as well as the death annals all dutifly recoded in Latin.

Judi Donnelly
copyright 19 March 2011

sourse: notes from the Gill historys of Ireland volumes.

Monday, March 14, 2011


How fares man when he rises above food and drink
When he has excesses and time and comfort
There is no stress
No anxiety
No Remorse

Does he feel the pain and suffernce
Of the land beneith him


Does he drape Himself in silk and satin
And prepare his women for gentle touch
What sees a man of others
In this place

Kings Nobles Aristocrats
Ner do well
The fallen

Judi Donnelly
copyright 13 March 2011

found among the notes in review