A Viking Called Reginald

A friend of mine passed two books on to me last week as he knew he’d get a rise. Both books were in the Celtic fantasy genre, a genre which often involves fantasy stories loaded with ‘Oirish’ cultural elements for branding purposes. Sometimes that’s not too much of an issue but, on this occasion, both… Read more »

Important Locations in Ireland for Fionn mac Cumhaill and the Fenian Cycle

The original stories from the Fenian Cycle (the stories of Fionn mac Cumhaill and the warrior band mistakenly called Na Fianna) are believed to have first originated in Leinster (that’s on the eastern side of Ireland if you’re unfamiliar with it) which is why so many of the Fionn mac Cumhaill stories take place in… Read more »

Vikings in Ireland

An interesting study in the Journal of Archaeological Science suggests that Viking intervention through colonisation etc. had an important impact on Ireland’s population. Over the last twenty to thirty years or so, the actual impact of Viking influence really only started to become recognised and nowadays it’s pretty much accepted that the vast majority of… Read more »

Ireland and The Myth of Countries

Studying the patterns in mythology has a way of changing the mind and one of the personal side effects of such research is that over the last few years, I’ve slowly ceased to believe in ‘countries’. Society Versus Geography When you look at mythology, you’re essentially looking at the cultural belief systems of a specific society.… Read more »

The Portrayal of Irish Mythology and Prehistory in Graphic Storytelling

Irish people used to be in the unique, if somewhat unenviable, position of having our cultural mythology and history (in particular, our prehistory) regularly misrepresented in narratives by overseas entertainment interests. Fortunately, the recent shift to plundering Scandinavian culture means that, in that respect at least, we now have some company. It’s an interesting phenomenon… Read more »

Passing Down Irish Cultural Knowledge (and what happens next)

Every distinct society passes cultural knowledge onto the next generation and that knowledge forms the basis of ongoing cultural identification. It’s the information that defines us as a cultural group and makes us who we are. One of the more interesting things about such cultural knowledge is that in those areas where it’s strongest, it’s… Read more »