Category Archives: Folk traditions

A reflective moment on the entangled world of research

‘Take a sharp needle,’ he said, ‘and stick it in under the collar of your coat, and not one of them will be able to have power on you.’ This is from a story that John Millington Synge recorded on … Continue reading

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The view at Loughcrew

I went to Loughcrew a few days ago to see the passage tombs. It’s not too far from my home town of Trim. You can visit Loughcrew any time you like during daylight hours, walk around the outside of the cairns, … Continue reading

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The henhouse

‘Very poor people, in the past, were wont to keep their little stock of hens or ducks in a small pen made from an old box in the kitchen …’ (O Danachair 1964). This was a custom in Irish rural houses in the nineteenth and … Continue reading

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100 words a day in Lent, and a potato ritual

During Lent, my micro-challenge to myself is to write 100 words a day on my thesis, with a target of 4000 words by Holy Thursday. I’ve set down some rules. First, the word count is cumulative, so if I do … Continue reading

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Nollaig na mBan 2016

When I was growing up in Ireland, my only experience of Nollaig na mBan (Women’s Christmas) was through Seán Ó Ríordáin’s poem, which I remember learning in Irish for the Inter Cert when I was about twelve. I was sure there … Continue reading

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