Who was Tréanmór -The Fionn mac Cumhaill Series

Within the Fenian Cycle, the character of Cumhal (Fionn mac Cumhaill’s father) is sometimes referred to with the interesting patronymic “mac Trénmóir” (or “mac Tréanmór” or in modern Irish) which, literally, means ‘Strong-Big’. This unlikely name is believed to originate from genealogists of the seventh century Leinster families who were keen to link the famous… Read more »

How to Write Sex Scenes

That made you sit up. I suppose I should start by saying I really don’t particularly enjoy writing sex scenes. Writing protracted sexual encounters always seems to lead into pornographic territory or, even worse, purple prose. Then of course there’s always the thought of your mother peering over your shoulder, shaking her head and tutting… Read more »

Earthquakes and Irony on the Shaky Isles

A bit hectic this week and people have been asking so I figured I’d give some information/ context on what we’re dealing with here – at least from a personal perspective. Even after many years in New Zealand, coming from one of the most stable pieces of land on the planet (the good ole conservative… Read more »

A Cultural Theft in the West Cork Heartland

Travelling to a favourite West Cork site this July took on a somewhat surreal edge. Over the morning, the drizzle congealed to mist then back again (several times) before finally deciding to settle on a light grey fog of soupish consistency. Taking the old road right some time after the Coosane – a road I’ve… Read more »

The Last of the Fir Bolg (Irish Mythology)

Earlier this year when visiting the Aran Islands I came across a story I’d not heard before concerning the Fir Bolg. But first, a bit of context: According to that very dubious source of Irish history/mythology, the Lebor Gabála Érenn (The Book of Invasions), the population of Ireland was derived from a series of numerous… Read more »

Literature, Bob Dylan, and the Emperor’s New Clothes

litearture competition

I’ve never really been a Bob Dylan fan. That’s not because he particularly annoys me or anything, it’s simply because I never actually got around to listening to his music. Growing up in Ireland, we had a significant number of local and national musical influences that competed strongly with the international acts in demanding our… Read more »

What If New Zealand Maori Colonised England?

Few things get my blood curdling but one was a media announcement in New Zealand yesterday when an individual by the name of Don Brash introduced a lobby group of ‘like-minded individuals’ vowing to vanquish radial separatism of the New Zealand political landscape (i.e. suppress the uppity indigenous people). [Pic: Maori woman warrior wielding ‘patu’… Read more »

The Most Incompetent Warrior in Ancient Ireland (Irish Mythology)

I’ve got to admit, I’ve always kinda liked Lóegaire Búadach (Lóegaire the Victorious). Ulster Cycle hero, contemporary of Cú Chulainn, husband to Fedelm Niochride and warrior in Conchobhar mac Nessa’s court, Lóegaire’s main function seems to have been as a comedic extra on the periphery of the principal action. In that respect, Lóegaire Búadach often… Read more »

The Truth About Irish Woman Warriors (Irish Mythology)

There’s a lot of fantasy out there when it comes to women warriors, particularly where it relates back to those in the Irish or Celtic realm. To be fair, the subject is hardly a new one. Since the development of literature itself, writers and readers have been enamoured by tales of fighting women (particularly Herodotus… Read more »

Love on the Aran Islands

The attached photo will be the cover shot for Irish Imbas Books’ exciting new range of romantic and erotic novels under the brand “Love on The Aran Islands”. Titles include: First Touch at Killronan (Cill rónáin) Fast Times at the Dark Fort Fierce Goings On at Dún Aonghasa Forty Shades of Bungolwa Hot Sweats in Innisheer… Read more »