Irish & Celtic Studies Message Board

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Irish & Celtic Studies Message Board

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1Elderwood Første besked:
jul 31, 2006, 6:08 pm


Welcome to the Irish & Celtic Studies group :)

My name is Lora O'Brien, and I guess I couldn't really come on here and *not* be in a group like this... there wasn't one, so now there is!

Alwyn Rees (Rees and Rees) seem to be the most popular among us so far, and I know there's loads I haven't even uploaded yet... who knew you could have so many books in one small house?! (erm, besides wyvernfriend, that is, it looks like she knows all too well!)

What's next on your "I must have that but my credit card will start screaming, actually screaming, at me if I even think about opening amazon again this month" wish list?


jul 31, 2006, 7:57 pm

Forget Amazon... My downfall is Kenny's! I have a whole list of rare stuff I'm hunting for, and now I've seen this: The Earldom of Desmond, 1463-1583: The Decline and Crisis of a Feudal Lordship ($55) - Gah!

I still need a copy of The Plays of George Fitzmaurice: Realistic Plays, I'm always on the lookout for folklore, and I have a list of local history books and pamphlets I wrote down at the Listowel library I want bad... If they can be found.

I would *love* my own copy of Burke’s History of the Landed Gentry of Ireland (cir 1950 or so) or Burke’s Peerage and Baronetage (cir 1940) but, wow. Even if I could find one it's waaaay out of my price range! I think they run hundreds of dollars.

aug 1, 2006, 11:13 am


I am quite glad to discover this group. I am sorta 1/4 Irish (honestly, my family history is vague on such topics.) German, Swiss, Norweigan are all thrown in there too. But I find that whenever I am exposed to Celtic music, literature, legends, religion and culture.... I feel like I am home in a way that very few in my life really understand at all, and perhaps only one does fully....

Besides - you can be born anywhere - and the culture that fits you may be somewhere else - that's the case with me.

I admit to being far more familiar with the music and mythology/folklore than I am the literature - (other than Joyce) - so I look forward to all your suggestions! :)

aug 1, 2006, 11:16 am


I am quite glad to discover this group. I am sorta 1/4 Irish (honestly, my family history is vague on such topics.) German, Swiss, Norweigan are all thrown in there too. But I find that whenever I am exposed to Celtic music, literature, legends, religion and culture.... I feel like I am home in a way that very few in my life really understand at all, and perhaps only one does fully....

Besides - you can be born anywhere - and the culture that fits you may be somewhere else - that's the case with me.

I admit to being far more familiar with the music and mythology/folklore than I am the literature - (other than Joyce) - so I look forward to all your suggestions! :)

aug 2, 2006, 8:24 am

Kenny's is great. Has anyone actually ever tried their book parcels? I've thought about it but never done it.

What's next on my list of things-to-buy is probably Eilis Ni Dhuibhne's Hurlamaboc that came out this year.

aug 2, 2006, 1:25 pm

Re: Kenny's. I was on the book parcel service for a few years - Had to drop it or risk bankruptcy. ;-) I found that my taste's are so specific that I was getting books I wasn't interested in owning. I think they did a great job of following my requested topics, but the wish-list is more in tune with my needs.

I can't tell you how heartbroken I am that they closed the storefront - The rare book room was a spiritual experience. I had the opportunity to see one of the family announce the closure in person - He made a moving and comforting speech about it - Their choices were sound but I still grieve...

aug 11, 2006, 5:43 pm

Anyone familiar with Irish/Celtic religion?

aug 11, 2006, 8:52 pm

Dydo, as in Druidism? I am, sorta. I call myself a Zen Druid.

aug 11, 2006, 9:52 pm

Druidism, yes, but I meant any tradition and any form thereof.

10medievalist Første besked:
aug 12, 2006, 10:18 pm

I have a fair degree of familiarity with Celtic mythology, and Celtic medieval languages and literatures.

Redigeret: aug 14, 2006, 6:59 am

You’re not the only one who calls yourself "Zen Druid." I looked it up (with the quotes) in Google, and there were, happily, more hits than I thought.

12miselynn Første besked:
nov 19, 2006, 10:30 am

Dia daoibh,
Just joined this group this morning. I personally have dropped hundreds of euros in Dingle in An Cafe Liteartha. Has anyone ever been there? Hold on to your wallet if you do.

jan 10, 2007, 8:30 am

I just joined this group, being a ((celtic (church-) history buff. I am so happy that there are more people like me out there, and also people interested in other celtic traditions.

jan 10, 2007, 8:40 am

Welcome, mackan. Maybe you can bring this group back to life! :o)

Sheesh! Who went through here and double flagged every post?

jan 10, 2007, 10:43 am

That's the spam twins. He/they stopped at 8:45. Bell rang for class? I doubt if the class is "Creative Writing."

jan 10, 2007, 3:02 pm

# 15 - Oh, you mean Spam 1 and Spam 2? ;o)

jan 10, 2007, 4:45 pm


Or 1 and 1 & 1/2.

jan 10, 2007, 4:52 pm

# 17 - Oh, conjoined, are they?

jan 10, 2007, 5:06 pm

Hi - I'm new here on Library Thing. I'm 'Full Irish' and have a large collection of History books about the place which I will try and fully catalogue soon. My passion is the Norman Invasion - specifically, the events leading up to it and the composition of the members of the first 1169 Landing.

Please to meet you all : )

jan 10, 2007, 10:46 pm

An in-law branch of my Irish family tree was supposedly haunted by a ghostly hound. (I don't know the details!) I think the term is "moddra."

Does anyone know anything about Irish legends of such hounds?


Redigeret: jan 11, 2007, 7:45 am


There is a "Moddey dhoo" which is a great black dog said to haunt the halls of Peel Castle (on the west coast of Ireland). He is supposed to be "big as a calf with eyes as large as pewter plates". There is also a dog with a similar name I don't recollect right now, which is found on the Isle of Man.

But according to Oxford dictionary of Celtic Mythology, dogs were attributed to gods and goddesses like Sirona, Nodons, Nehalennia (where the dog is suggested to have healing powers).

Other creatures with hound-like features includes Coinchenn, a monstrous dogheaded deity.

There is also the "cù s'th" - "The black hound of the highlands" and lots, and lots of other hounds and dogs :)

Everything "cu-" has a meaning towards "hound". In old names it almost allways has something to do with hunting.


jan 11, 2007, 7:52 am

#19 - Welcome, Dominichyde! I hope you enjoy yourself here on LT.

jan 11, 2007, 1:51 pm

Thanks, mackan!

My source, an Irish antiquarian, was giving a brief list of ghosts in the locality, without telling the stories, dammit. He mentioned a female ghost from the Creagh family, then wrote "the moddra-na-Craeuv, or dog of the Creaghs, also haunts Croke."

I've read that there are tales of black hounds in Ireland and elsewhere. I'd guessed that one attached to a family might be a death omen, a la Baskerville. I could throttle the man for not giving any details! :-) The dog you mention who haunts Peel Castle sounds most likely to be of the same ilk, don't you think?

jan 11, 2007, 4:07 pm

Myshelves: Did some more research and there are some "cu madra" in celtic mythology which are big, black dogs. They are some sort of supernatural dogs, but not ghosts, per definition.

jan 11, 2007, 5:20 pm


I guess that "ghost" was my word. He said "haunts."

Those "cu madra" sound good. Not the same as the "Moddey dhoo"? Are they threatening, or helpful, or does it depend upon the dog?

Sorry to be a pest, but I've long wanted to know just what sort of pooch is perched on a branch of my family tree. :-)

jan 11, 2007, 5:30 pm

The Moddey dhoo is a special "cu madra", as I understand it. They are typically threatening, as far as I understand it (now - granted - I have not encountered the "cu madra" until today, so it is not by any means a speciality of mine).

A lot of dark creatures in Irish and Celtic mythology can be controlled, though, by knowledge of their name. Do you know if your dog has a name of some kind? (Should you meet him/her, you call out his/her name and he/she can't do you any harm...) :)

(I am just interested in the history, here. I do not suggest that this is a real creature, at all. If you actually do believe that there is a haunting dog you should worry about, I don't want to contribute to any fear of yours. Take it fwiw - a bit of trivia and family ghost stories.)

jan 11, 2007, 6:14 pm

Hi mackan,

I believe in this dog to the same extent that I believe in leprechauns and hippogriffs, and to a slightly lesser extent than I believe in the Pink Unicorn (May Her Holy Hooves never be shod!) and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. (Grin)

But I enjoy such stories, and I love dogs, so I want to find out about the
"haunting." If I encounter the moddra-na-Craeuv, I will project calm, assertive energy and convince him that I am the pack leader. :-) (Anyone else watch "The Dog Whisperer"?)

jan 12, 2007, 5:03 am

Myshelves: OK :) Personally I don't believe in leprechauns, that much, any longer. They simply don't seem trustworthy ;)

(Did that joke even translate to English?)

Anyway - yeah, I love these kind of stories myself. Being somewhat of a hobby historian, I tend to think that our own lives ARE stories, and there are allways room for the unknown, be it magic, miracles or haunted dogs somewhere where our stories get intertwined with myth.

I do believe in supernatural things, like Christianity, but I just don't want to scare anyone. Coming from a long line of pretty aggressive atheists, though, I tend to have a sort of distance towards the esoteric. I hope noone here gets offended by that.

OTOH my bookshelves would qualify me as a "watcher" in Buffy ;) So, in short, I am interested from an "academic" point of view. Mostly in Celtic (yeah!) mythology, but also in esoterica in general. And it helps me to write horror, as well :)


Blessed be, and all that.

(Oh, and "The Dog Whisperer" is a great show! Even though "Mythbusters" is the favourite for me. Men in moustaches and a redheaded woman (!) blowing stuff up. TV doesn't get any better than that!)

jan 12, 2007, 11:15 am

#28 Mackan,
The joke translates perfectly. Is it true that leprechaun gold vanishes?! :-) Untrustworthy indeed!

I tend to think that our own lives ARE stories,...

I'm surprised that you don't list any of Joseph Campbell's books. The first time I read one, I had a dream that night in which I re-enacted, using my own symbols, one of the universal quest myths. :-)

I have seen one "man who wasn't there," through my camera lens, but he was utterly improbable
as a ghost, and I'm sure that there is an explanation involving optical effects and reflection. :-) I don't get offended until someone wants to push beliefs down my throat, or limit my rights (never mind kill me) because I don't share them, or teach them in taxpayer-funded schools, or ban books. (Almost said public schools, but remembered that that doesn't translate to English English. Grin.) Only then do I demand equal time for the FSM. :-)

As you may have noticed (smile), I don't know much about Celtic myths. I fell in love with the Greek gods and stories at an early age, and most of my books are about them. Standing in his temple at Delphi, I can come close to believing in Apollo. :-)

jan 12, 2007, 4:38 pm

Message #28
Mythbusters is on my favorites list-as are Dirty Jobs, Worst Jobs Ever(jobs from historical times), & Ancient Cultures which had a segment on the Celts a few weeks back! I am into all things Celtic. Loreena McKennett's music is great! There is a movie about Queen Boudica w/Alex Kingston as Boudica that is real good. Think it's called Warrior Queen.

jan 12, 2007, 6:18 pm

the "Madra Dubh" would be the irish for Black Dog.

jan 12, 2007, 6:34 pm

Wyvernfriend: Thanks a bunch. I don't speak Irish, so not only do I have to read transliteration which can be tricky (different languages and all that), but I don't really understand the words very well either.

Redigeret: jan 12, 2007, 7:52 pm

In the Donegal dialect of Irish, they use a variant of madra for the word "dog" is different - not madra but madadh. I'm not sure of the spelling now (I'm a little rusty), but I do remember that the pronunciation is, more or less, "mod-doo".

I don't know where Peel Castle is, but as it's on the west coast, perhaps the regional dialect also pronounces the word for dog a little differently from the dictionary version madra ... i.e. as something closer to "moddey".

jan 15, 2007, 5:52 am

#21 - actually Peel Castle is on the Isle of Man, not the west coast of Ireland, it's actually between Ireland and England. see:

The language there is Manx and English and possibly Moddey Dhoo is correct in Manx.

feb 17, 2007, 4:38 pm

Hi all--

I'm an undergrad who seriously regrets not taking the Celtic Studies degree at Berkeley, because my school doesn't even have sign language, let alone Irish.

On that note, I researched quite a lot about the Tain and the fenian cycle as well. I really wish there was more.

What have y'all found?

feb 18, 2007, 3:49 pm

I have another question for the group.

While googling to try to learn the origin of the phrase "__ and the horse you rode in on" I found this:

"The phrase you hear is undoubtedly a blessing uttered by drivers of Irish extraction, although you've misunderstood the words. The complete original phrase is "Fie, you, and the corpse you rode in on!" and it was repeated to protect oneself or a fellowman against the dreaded Road Goblin of Drogheda, which tradition says traveled the byways mounted on the corpse of an unlucky wayfarer, seeking souls to devour."

I did find one other site on which someone mentioned "McCarthy's corpse you rode in on."

True??? Or is this leg pulling?

mar 24, 2007, 8:46 pm

Found lots :D

What in particular were you interested in?

apr 26, 2007, 2:31 pm

I see Lora O'Brien was the first to post on this thread. Its great to have crossed paths again. I wonder, do you intend to author any more books? If so, I would certainly be one of the first to buy.

apr 26, 2007, 2:32 pm

#7 from Dydo

I am trying to learn more about it, Dydo. How about you?

Redigeret: apr 26, 2007, 5:07 pm

#34 - "possibly Moddey Dhoo is correct in Manx". Yes, it is, but the whole question of Manx orthography is a tricky one. The pub fact (i.e. the "fact" that someone will tell you in a pub, probably quite late in the evening) is that Manx looks so strange and unlike Irish, which it really ought to resemble, because it was first written down by a Welshman.

Oddly enough for a pub fact, this seems to be true.

jan 9, 2011, 8:58 am

I am an armchair Celtic scholar. I have studied medieval Welsh and I am always looking for books in the language. I have studied modern Welsh and hope to one day study Irish Gaelic. I am always looking for suggestions of good books and resources. I get the Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies releases and find them quite good. Well here is hoping this group is still active :)