The union of marriage between Aoife, Lady of Leinster, Ireland and Richard de Clare, nicknamed Strongbow, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, Wales would change Ireland like never before and its ruling class along with it.
Aoife, born April 26th, 1143, was the daughter of King Dermot MacMurrough (Diarmait Mac Murchada) of the Kingdom of Leinster and his wife Mor O’Toole, Queen Consort of Leinster. Aoife who later became more known as Eva of Leinster and on her marriage became the Countess of Pembroke, agreed to the marriage as she did have the right to refuse under Brehon Law (Early Irish Law). On the 29th of October 1170, Aoife and Strongbow were married at Christchurch Cathedral in Waterford City.
Following the death of King Dermot in 1171, under Anglo-Norman law, Strongbow had succession rights to the Kingdom of Leinster, whereas Aoife had a life interest under Brehon law. Strongbow claimed the right to the Kingdom in his wife’s name ensuring his position as Lord o…
The end of another seasonal cycle is fast approaching and we are all getting ready to celebrate the ancient festival of Samhain. There is no other place in Ireland or the world more associated to the festival of Samhain than at Tlachtga or the “Hill of the Ward”, located near Athboy in Co. Meath, Ireland, twelve miles from the Hill of Tara. This is an ancient archaeological site which saw a big excavation dig in the summer of 2014 and like Tara the earthen works are most impressive by air.
It was on this hill over two thousand years ago that saw the birth of Samhain which would later become better known as Halloween. In Irish Mythology, Tlachtga is the daughter of Mud Ruith a powerful druid and sun god. He is a figure of immense power and could grow to great sizes and his breath could turn people to stone! Not someone you would want to cross! According to myth and the tales that are retold, Tlachtga travelled with her father Mug Ruith to Italy to study un…
Of all the Irish deities making up the pantheon of gods, the Dagda is seen as the most powerful and omnicompetent, unlike his counterparts who are often limited in their abilities.
What I found interesting on my research of the Dagda is his role when it came to the introduction of Christianity. Ireland’s culture and belief systems have been very insular due to its isolation from mainland Europe and its strong ties with its former pagan culture. The development of the Irish church intertwined and fused the old pagan beliefs into the new religion with many crossovers with the gods of old. It appears to have been easier to Christianise and bestow saint hood on former gods than to have them removed altogether. All of the old pagan customs and rituals were based on earth’s seasonal cycles of the year and each is attributed to a related god, so as the seasons impacted the people, so did the god.
The pagan Irish gods of old came from the “Otherworld” however w…
Written by Ben Kesp Following on
from my post on theIrish deities and mythological races of Ireland, I am
trying my hand at compiling the family tree of the Tuatha Dé Danann.Not an easy task I will add due to the
contradictory nature of Irish Mythology.Goddess Danu is seen as the mother of the Danann and Dagda or the Great
Dagda is seen as the father of the Gods.It is unclear if Dagda is the son or the husband of Danu as different
sources position him in both places. There are
five brothers: (Dagda, Dian Cécht, Lir, Nuada and Ogma). vDagda (God of Earth) (Father of the Gods)
(King of Ireland)(Or Eochaid Garb) oHusband
with children: §Bridgit (Goddess of Poetry, Arts & Crafts) (Arrival of Spring - Imbolc) ·Wife
(God of Agriculture) with child: oRúadan §Bodh Derg (King of Tuatha Dé Danann when they and moved to the Sídhe) §Néith (God of War) ·Husband
(Daughter of Goddess Ernmas) §Midir ·Husband
to Fúmnach ·Husband
(The Wooing of Étaín) §Áine §Cermait…