In fields, valleys and quiet places the country over can be found countless earthwork mounds, cairns, tumuli and other signs of early human habitation in Ireland. These sites often garnered supernatural associations in folk tradition, being commonly understood as the abodes of ‘Na Daoine Maithe’ (The Good People) or fairies. Quite unlike the genteel ‘Tinker Bell’ of contemporary culture, the fairies in folk tradition were understood as an archaic otherworld community living alongside us in the natural landscape, and were held in a mixture of trepidation and respect by our forebears, on account of the power of their influence over human affairs (for good or bad).
Join your hosts Claire Doohan and Jonny Dillon of the National Folklore Collection in this month’s edition of Blúiríní Béaloidis, as they aim to dispel some of the common misconceptions about the fairies in popular culture while also examining their origins, abodes, and customs attached to them. From fallen angels to pre-Christian deities, and from nature spirits to the mortals who learnt songs and music from them; sit with us for an hour as we set out into the natural landscape in the hope of coming to a deeper understanding of our unruly otherworld neighbours and the wisdom and knowledge they offer us today!