Showing posts from June, 2017

Oíche Shin Sheáin: St John's Eve is Bone Fire night in West Kerry.

The word 'bonfire' derives from the Late Middle English 'bone fire' and originally referred to large, open-air fires on which bones were burnt, often as part of communal celebrations.    June 23rd is St John's Eve when, in many parts of Ireland, a 'tine chnámh', or 'bone fire' was traditionally lit at sundown as the focal point of festivities concerned with fertility and the land. The nature of the ritual and the proximity of the saint's day to the summer solstice, on or about June 21st, indicate the subsuming of pagan fertility rites into Christian worship. Fires fuelled by bones, timber or turf were lit on boundaries, promontories, shorelines and hilltops, where communities gathered to sing, feast and dance, and young men would compete to leap through the flames.  In some places cattle were ritually driven between two fires to protect their health, and prayers and charms were recited to promote the year's success

Danny Sheehy: Loss of a Voyager.

Tonight in Corca Dhuibhne neighbours came together to wake Danny Sheehy in his home in Baile Eaglaise close to the burial ground at Dún Urlann where he'll be carried tomorrow after his funeral mass. He died on Friday June 9th after a boat which he and a friend had built, and of which he was a crew member, overturned off the northwest coast of Spain.  Danny and his companions were returning from a sea pilgrimage, taking the old medieval pilgrim route of The Camino de Santiago in a naomhóg - a traditional Irish boat with a wooden frame over which a covering of tarred canvas or calico is stretched . The boat was called the Naomh Gobnait, after a legendary saint associated with the area, and, according to the medieval Nauigatio sancti Brendani abbatis , a similar craft carried the monks who took part in the Voyage of St Brendan, the saint after whom Corca Dhuibhne's Mount Brandon is named. Over a period of years, beginning in 2014, the Naomh Gobnait had continued on its