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

Bealtaine Fire Festival at the Hill of Uisneach

The Bealtaine Fire Festival at the Hill of Uisneach is a spectacular event. I went along with my camera to capture some of the scenes at this wonderful reinstitution of a very ancient celebration on the hill that marked the sacred centre of Ireland.

 

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Mythical Ireland Podcast 8: interview with author Judith Nilan

In the latest Mythical Ireland podcast, Anthony Murphy interviews American writer Judith Nilan about her two books and her interest in Irish sacred sites, our old myths, the Tuatha Dé Danann and what it means to be an elder.

 

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Dronehenge book: contract signed with Liffey Press

Author Anthony Murphy has just signed a book deal with his publisher, The Liffey Press, for a book about the discovery of Dronehenge at Newgrange last summer. The book will be published in October.

 

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St. Patrick's equinox journey - a precise alignment across Ireland

An investigation of some of the prominent places associated with Ireland's patron saint, Saint Patrick, and associated mythology, cosmology and alignments, throws up some very interesting surprises. Anthony Murphy of Mythical Ireland investigates some of the myths behind the man, and his journey across Ireland.

 

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Celebrating St. Sheelah's Day with a look at Drogheda's Sheela-na-gig

A pre-Famine tradition that 18th March was a feast day in honour of a long forgotten Saint, St. Sheelah, a wife or consort of St. Patrick, has come back into public consciousness due to recent scholarly work by Shane Lehane of University College Cork around the folklore of this event. To celebrate and remember St. Sheelah's Day, Anthony Murphy of Mythical Ireland visited an obscure possible remnant of the tradition around this forgotten female figure.

 

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Video: Dronehenge and other archaeology visible again at Newgrange Farm

The late Neolithic henge and other archaeological features discovered near Newgrange during the drought of summer 2018 have become visible again in a field of barley at Newgrange Farm. This drone video shows most of the significant features in the field.

 

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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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