About Mythical Ireland

Mythical Ireland was established in March of the year 2000 by journalist, author and researcher Anthony Murphy. The website represents a journey into the ancient past, and attempts to cast new light on a sometimes obscure period of the early history of Ireland. This exploration takes place through many different disciplines, which include, but are not limited to, archaeology, anthropology, astronomy, mythology, spirituality and geodesy.

The great 5,000-year-old megalithic passage-tombs of Brú na Bóinne in the Boyne Valley represent the zenith of a phase of Irish prehistory that began with the introduction of farming around 6,000 years ago. Newgrange, Knowth and

Dowth are huge, enigmatic structures, that are the finest examples of a type of monument that is found scattered throughout Ireland, and of which there may be as many as 1,500 examples. None can compare to these three, though, in terms of size, grandeur, and their illustrious prominence in the ancient myths.

Anthony’s exploration encompasses many different facets of these great monuments. He invites you to step into this ancient world, and through the various media of words, photography and video/film, to enjoy a unique glimpse a past that seems very much alive.

Ancient Ireland

Ancient Ireland

Ancient Sites

Enter the ‘Ancient Sites’ section of this blog for a fascinating and wide-ranging exploration of the megalithic and sacred sites of Ireland. Find out all about the Stone Age and prehistoric ruins and learn more about the possible functions and alignments of these sites. Visit the great temples of Brú na Bóinne, the Hill of Tara, the ancient cairns of Loughcrew among many others.

Ancient Ireland

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Myths & Legends

Explore the ancient myths, legends and folklore of Ireland and their meaning. Read the epic Táin Bó Cuailnge, or the place-name myths in the Dindshenchas. Learn about how the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Milesians came to Ireland and how the early texts describe various invasions of prehistoric Éire. Hear about Fionn and the Fianna, and discover how some myths might contain information about astronomy and the stars.

Ancient Ireland

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Astronomy & the Sky

There is no doubt that the ancient megalith builders had a substantial knowledge of the movements of the sun, moon, planets and stars through the heavens. Learn more about just how complex and impressive this knowledge was. There is evidence that the people of the Neolithic knew about the 19-year Metonic cycle of the moon, as well as being able to predict eclipses.

Ancient Ireland

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A Journey Into Ireland's Ancient Past

Mythical Ireland Blog

Three podcast interviews with Anthony Murphy

It's been an extremely busy month here at Mythical Ireland, following my involvement in the biggest archaeological find of a lifetime here in the Boyne Valley with a new henge found near Newgrange. I've been doing a lot of media interviews for the past month. Now, I am also featured in several podcasts.

 

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The night stretches – Lughnasa brings a noticeable shortening of the days

The festival of Lughnasa, marking the beginning of the harvest and the end of summer, might well be a prehistoric celebration. One of the most noticeable aspects of this time of year is the noticeable contraction of the days, and the lengthening of night.

 

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Eclipse dreaming: a blood red moon at Newgrange

On the night of a total eclipse, when the blood red moon should have been visible inside Newgrange, the sky was overcast and heavy rain returned to the Boyne Valley after two months of drought.

 

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The Meaning of Myth – Fintan mac Bóchra, the hawk and the flood

In a brand new episode of The Meaning of Myth, Anthony Murphy and Treacy O'Connor discuss the symbol of the hawk from Irish mythology, and how the myth of Fintan mac Bóchra inspired the novel The Cry of the Sebac.

 

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Tuatha Dé Danann - their origins in the old manuscripts

The Tuatha Dé Danann are the early gods of Ireland, associated with the great sídhe or passage-mounds of Brú na Bóinne. There is some debate about their original name, whether it was Tuatha Dé Danann or just Tuatha Dé, and attempts have been made to link them with the Tribe of Dan, one of the 12 tribes of Israel. Anthony Murphy briefly investigates.

 

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The Newgrange henge: a preliminary investigation of possible astronomical alignment

Following my discovery (with Ken Williams) of a previously unrecorded henge or ceremonial enclosure just 750m from Newgrange last week, I have been taking a tentative look at the possible astronomical alignment of the monument. There are some interesting initial observations.

 

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In search of Ireland's Ancient Astronomers

Mythical Ireland Galleries

New Henge

In July 2018, a previously unrecorded henge or ceremonial enclosure was discovered in crop marks just 750 metres from the Newgrange passage-tomb. 

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Newgrange

Newgrange is the most famous, and perhaps the most sacred, of the ancient megalithic monuments of Ireland. I go there often with the camera, and capture its many moods.

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Knowth

Knowth, a sister of Newgrange, is a fascinating and complex series of monuments. I am lucky to have had regular access there for photographs over the years, revealing many of its extraordinary facets.

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Monasterboice

Monasterboice is an ecclesiastical site in County Louth, close to the Boyne Valley megalithic monuments. It has a fine round tower and some of the best examples of Irish high crosses, making it a wonderfully atmospheric location for photography.

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Boyne Valley

The Boyne Valley is a landscape steeped in myth and history, and monuments from all era's of Ireland's fascinating history. It's the centre of my universe. I love photographing all of its varied hues and moods.

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Loughcrew

Loughcrew is one of my favourite places in all the world. Ancient, rugged, atmospheric and ancestral, it is imbued with a great power and is one of the most photogenic areas of Ireland.

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