Back on ‘The Island’

Walking home on ‘The Island’ three (maybe four?) years ago. I’d gone up to visit the Martello Tower and it was such a beautiful day I decided to walk back to the village. The place hadn’t changed that much since I’d last been there although the Government has shut off access to the old submarine… Read more »

Exploirng the Irish Otherworld

Four years ago, I got to visit my favourite of the four main entrances to the Irish Otherworld. Generally speaking, these places tend to be quite difficult to get to (for obvious reasons) and have important topographical features that make them stand out from the rest of the terrain. Practical tip: If you visit the… Read more »

GAME OF THRONES TAPESTRY IN BELFAST MUSEUM

Fascinating to see what happens when fantasy becomes commercially strong enough to impact on reality. In New Zealand, Tourism New Zealand often sold the country as ‘Middle Earth’ (i.e. where LOTR was filmed) but with the Game of Throne television series, Northern Ireland started to give it some serious competition. This 253-foot-long tapestry (based on… Read more »

Liath Luachra: The Great Wild

This is the cover image for a small project called ‘Liath Luachra: The Great Wild‘ which I’m hoping to release sometime next year – probably towards the end of the year. Essentially, it’s a prequel novella to the Liath Luachra Series (The Irish Woman Warrior Series) that tells of an event during Liath Luachra’s first… Read more »

Ráth Meadhbha

Ráth Meadhbha is looking a bit run down these days but after 3000 years (best estimates indicate it was constructed in the early Bronze Age: 2000–1500 BC) I suppose that’s pretty understandable. Climb in over the shaky ‘geata’, slip through the trees and you find yourself in an open field that could be a farming… Read more »

Drawing From the Well

‘Drawing from the Well’ is an expression I often use with respect to my creative work as it effectively captures the concept of returning to the comforting depth of your cultural roots to draw on inspiration for artistic expression. Having been raised in Irish culture, I know that culture has strongly shaped my personality, the… Read more »

Sad News On Irish Mythology

Sadly, I’ll be making some changes to how Irish Imbas Books operates in the future (and there’ll be more detail on that in the Vóg newsletter at the end of the month). For the past twenty years or so, I’ve used ancient Gaelic cultural and mythological concepts on a daily basis as part of my… Read more »

Irish Mythology – The Plastic Verison

Over the last year I’ve received a disturbing number of queries from people seeking advice on Irish mythology – to the point I’ve had to implement a policy that I don’t respond to such questions. This isn’t because I don’t like helping people – I generally do – but I simply don’t have the time… Read more »

The Ten Best Irish Songs ‘As Gaeilge’ (for English Speakers)

Ireland is fortunate to have an exceptionally strong oral music tradition that stretches back to a time well before records began, and which has resiliently survived the worst that historical and contemporary life has thrown at it.  Steeped in Gaelic history, language and cultural heritage, Irish singers and songwriters are also fortunate in that they… Read more »

Oirish Gaming, Tourism Ireland and the Plastic Paddies

Look, I’ve got to confess I’m not the world’s greatest gamer. I have enjoyed games like ‘Skyrim’ or ‘Fallout’ in the past but, for me, the main enjoyment results from wandering aimlessly through dramatic landscapes (usually as I haven’t worked out the controls) or engaging in the occasional bout of senseless violence after a ‘bad day’… Read more »