Images Of Ireland

Enchanted Ireland



The Ban Sidhe (Banshee)
If your surname begins with O' , Mc' or Mac' you may have your very own family harbinger of death. The ban sidhe is always female and can be heard wailing in the hours of darkness. If you hear the unearthly cry likened to a child or a cat's rest assured the death will not be your own. The warning is that a family member is close to death. The ban sidhe is a shy creature. She can take the form of a bent over tortured hag wrapped in rags or that of a beautiful young woman but the cry and the long flowing hair are the same. My granda told of such an old woman who fortold of the loss of
300 men on the 14th Dec 1811 when the British warship HMS Saldanha was shipwrecked.




Fairies are said to be the those left from the ancient "Tuathade-Dannans" who once ruled Ireland. There are fairies who travel alone and can be malevolent but most fairies remain in groups are usually friendly and spend their time feasting and making music.

The Irish were very afraid of their young being taken by the fairies and replaced in their beds with fairy children. Children who had not been baptised or who were very beautiful or talented were at most risk. The fairy children left were called "Changelings" Various tests were developed to see if your child was left by the fairy folk. These included trying to make it laugh or cross water which they dislike.



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Owen Brennan
Copyright 1998 belongs with the original authors. All rights reserved.
Revised: August 09, 2002.