Thursday, 5 April 2018

March 6th Green Drinks - Folklore of Irish Trees

The March Green Drinks Talk was given by Branch member and author Niall Mac Coitir about the myths, legends and folklore of Irish trees. Did you know that the birch tree was the best tree to make a cradle out of, as it would protect the child from the fairies; while the elderberry tree is the worst, as the fairies would come and pinch the baby black and blue? Or that the oak tree was associated in ancient Ireland with royalty and kingship and an oak tree often stood outside the rath or dĂșn of the chieftain in Gaelic times? The oak tree was also sacred to the druids, and some Christian sites were probably located at sacred groves of oak trees, such as Derry - Doire Colmcille 'the oak wood of Colmcille' and Durrow - DarĂș - 'the oak plain'. Another important tree is the ash, which is of course used to make hurleys. A mature tree is needed to make the hurley, and Ireland is now so denuded of mature broadleaf trees that ash has to be imported from Europe to make them! All in all, a very interesting and informative talk.


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