Episode 40: Irish Fairylore 1 – Aos Sí what you did there

“And the fairies danced there once more in the moonlight, as they used to do in the old time”

Rathra, Co. Roscommon – one of the largest raths in Ireland, where the fairies are said to live.

The first of two episodes on Irish fairy lore – featuring three tales of the Aos Sí and not a pair of gossamer wings in sight.

Discover the connection between a fairy rath and the fairies wrath, meet a dead donkey who doesn’t drop anything, and take a good look at a fairy baby. While you still can.

There’s also a bit more of a lengthy discussion on the nature of fairies in Ireland at the beginning of the episode – where I ramble on a fair bit about how this fits in to wider fairy lore.

I hope you enjoy these three stories and expect more next time!

“Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.”

— W.B. Yeats, The Stolen Child
A lone Hawthorn – one of the many abodes of the fairies Photo © louise price (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Some depictions of the Sidhe (without wings)

There are relatively few depictions of the Irish fairies available in the public domain, and many of those that are have unfortunately been caught up in giving them wings and the like, rather than representing them as they appear in the stories.

However here is a sample of illustrations that don’t do that from some of the more famous collections of Irish fairies at the turn of the century. They do serve to give some feel sure to the sheer range of the Aos Sí.

There’s no doubt at all but that there’s the same sort of things in other countries; but you hear more about them in these parts because the Irish do be more familiar in talking of them

From Lady Gregory’s Visions and beliefs in the west of Ireland

Selected Sources

Sources for stories told this episode

Other sources

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