Doon … and Other Works

An Roinn Tithíochta, Rialtais Áitúil agus Oidhreachta (Ireland’s Office of Public Works and National Monuments Service), get a lot of bad stick online, usually from opinionated keyboard warriors who don’t understand the realities of managing a nationwide conservation programme. It’s nice, therefore, when they release a new project that helps to increase accessibility (and understanding)… Read more »

An Táin

There’s a new version of ‘An Táin’ released this week. The cover image and fact that its title is ‘THE Táin’ suggests it’s designed for a non-Irish audience (although, to be fair, it’s primarily targeting children). I’ll be writing more about ‘An Táin’ in ‘Vóg‘ – the Irish Imbas newsletter – at the end of… Read more »

The Evolving Nature of St Paddy’s Parade

It’s nice to see people enjoying the St Paddy’s Day parades , taking place again after the Covid-19 years (this photo from the Cork parade in 2022 – from Cork County Council). It’s also interesting to see how the parades have changed so much over several decades. It’s probably worth noting that the parade was… Read more »

Blinkers!

Representation of mythology, in the modern context, is a bit like those small leather screens attached to a horse’s bridle. What we see -or, rather, what we’re shown by various commercial and other vested interests – only gives us a very limited view of what mythology actually is and what it does. Irish Imbas is… Read more »

Culture Integrity in Creative Irish Projects

When I first started writing the Fionn mac Cumhaill Series almost nine years ago, I was keen to create a realistic, culturally authentic version of the famous Fenian Cycle. In particular, I wanted to write stories that were genuinely Irish while also accessible to non-Irish readers. As part of my overall goal with Irish Imbas… Read more »

Breith [Birth]

Father Sun had neared his peak when the girl in the clearing stirred. Stretched across the ankle-high grass, her initial shiftings were indiscernible beneath the black cloak that swathed her. As vigorous ripples of activity shifted through the garment however, it loosened and slowly unravelled. A bare pair of legs slid into the open and… Read more »

Happy ….Whatever

At this time of year, you can offer someone best wishes or a peaceful Lá Fhéile Bríde (St Brigid’s day) or Imbolg, depending on which way your belief system drifts. The former ( Lá Fhéile Bríde) is now an official holiday in Ireland (on Monday 6 Feb). I’m pretty agnostic about both, to be honest (although I’m totally… Read more »

Some readers might find this image a little familiar. That’s because it’s remarkably similar to the layout of the ‘Crannóg‘ used in the book ‘LIATH LUACHRA: The Metal Men‘. In fact, this is an early image of the ráth at the Irish National Heritage Park. It has a very similar layout to the fictional crannóg… Read more »

Iron Age and Medieval Age Gaming

This is the Ballinderry Gaming Board held by the National Museum of Ireland which is often used to portray the ancient Irish game of ‘Fidchell’ – a game I occasionally make reference to in my own Fionn mac Cumhaill books. Like many non-native representations of Irish culture however, this one is also flawed in that… Read more »

Initial thoughts on ‘LIATH LUACHRA: The Great Wild’

Initial thoughts.Predominantly one character alone in the forest. No dialogue apart from limited self-dialogue. This book is quite an experimental work for me but one I’ve really felt compelled to write. I’m particularly enjoying the challenge of trying to make the story work effectively (in terms of mystery and action) within such a limited setting.… Read more »