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Established 16/3/2000
Files from the Mythical Ireland archives
The Boyne and its culture and folklore
I came across this article in the archives. It was written by Dermot Fairclough, now deceased, a well known folklorist and historian in the Drogheda area. He wrote it back in June of 1997.

Day One
Some of the best farm-land in Ireland, can be found On the banks of the Boyne, in counties Louth and Meath. So it's not surprising that the same land attracted Successive settlers to the Boyne.
These early settlers were farmers and they knew good Land when they saw it, So it's no small wonder when
We find, Neolithic, Celtic, Christian and Norman Culture, buildings, and workers of art.
These wealthy and well organised Neolithic farmers built Their Temples and burial chambers before the Egyptian; On the banks of the Boyne,and like the Pyramids in Egypt are a world wonder.;
When the Celts arrived they saw and recognised these Unique buildings as something special and assimilated them into their culture So the magnificent Newgrange Building was designated as the temple of the'' Celtic, God of love;''
About 1938 I met a young archeologist at Mellifont Youth hostel he had won a scholarship at Dusseldorf University his name was Hans Heaglor, A German. He had spent the last eight years tracing the people
Who built Newgrange he started in the east and he spent Eight years on a bicycle, which brought him to the Boyne
As in europe here in Ireland ,you can trace the families As they drifted from one piece of good land to another,
They built their tombs, A lot of them followed the Boyne Valley up to Donegal;
They were sun worshipers and according to Heaglor.
This is why Newgrange is so important, it is not a Burial place as such, it is a very sacred place where the Sun-god was born every year, on the 22nd of December. According to legend the new god is born when the head Chamber of the cross in the tomb is filled with light. After the 22nd Dec. there is two gods, all the good days it is the young god getting stronger, all the bad days its The old god losing his power. That goes on until easter When the old god dies.Long live the king the king is dead. So the people rejoice, and Worship the young God.
Day Two
On the second day we left Newgrange heading west.
At the bend at the bottom of the hill, on the right side There are some cottages, sitting outside was an old man We stopped and asked directions for Knowth.
So we chatted for a while. He said his name was Hoye. He was 80 years old and he said Knowth was bigger than Newgrange, much bigger inside. Today proves him right.
He told us about his adventure in the caves of Knowth. When he was young 7or 8 years old, his own words were " Me and me brother and a neighbour's child went across the fields with the dog, when a fox got up and the dog chased it. The dog was almost on it ,when the fox ducked behind a big stone in the bank, and the dog went after it. We could hear the dog barking down the hole.
I, being the smallest and the youngest, had to go down the hole and get the dog out. When I got down the hole I saw a big square cave down at the far end was two lights glaring at me. I grabbed the dog and stuffed him out the hole the two lads pulled me out. I was scared. I started to run and we ran the whole way home, when my mother saw the state of me she nearly fainted."
"Shortly after dad came home Ma told him what happened. He took off his belt and lathered the arse of us and wWarned us never to go there again that place was evil. I was around it but never in it again," he said.
The Boyne Culture
When the Celts arrived they recognised these unique Mounds as something special and assimilated them
Into their Culture. Some became royal enclosures such as the Hill of Tara. While others became the dwelling-
Places of the Celtic gods; Tara was the great assembly place of the Celts;
And the following extract from the long poem in the Ancient book of rights giving us an insight to what went on. This extract is taken from the Book Celtic Mysteries The ancient religion by J. Starkey;
When the harvest month is began,
After a lapse of three years span,
Daily seeking victors praise
Riders racing through seven days,
Settlement of tax and dues,
Legal cases to review,
Laws to punish and declare,
This the business of the fair;
The Druids and the Poets were very privileged people
In a very aristocratic,Celtic Society.and Poetic study
Became a hereditary occupation which lasted into the Late
medieval period. Daghdha was father of the ''Goddess Briged'' who was responsible for sacred wells. Livestock, the Home, Poetry,and traditional learning;
When the Christian Missioners arrived they Christianised Briged
and made her a saint,Her feastday Was fixed for the first day in Feb,

The Country Fella.

All information and photos, except where otherwise stated, copyright, © Anthony Murphy, 1999-2015
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