In the early part of the last century there was a prominent priest in
Most of the fairies lived in underground caves [souterrains] having secret entrances in the fairy forths on the hillsides round about.
One such forth remains almost intact on McGreevy’s hill in the townland of Ballywinny [‘town of the ancient tree’] in the Cabra district. It is called Doras na Bruidhne [the palace entrance] which frankly, says it all.
The writers to whom he was most attracted at this early stage were Sean O Faolain (whom he always singled out as the best Irish short story writer), Liam O’Flaherty, Frank O’Connor, Peadar O’Donnell and Michael MacLaverty.
Although he was born in Liverpool, Michael had already, by the time he was taken home to Dromintee in 1922, been brought up in an atmosphere of storytelling.
The mind’s eye sees it – the spirit of a spring morning – and the instinct senses it, quick as thought: a new presence which was not around the morning before, nor the night before – nor the day before.
Readers here will know of the respect I own for the late Ulster poet John Hewitt and also for the South Armagh folklorist Michael J Murphy.
The following poem was written by Hewitt in tribute to our ‘Last Druid’ Michael J Murphy.
It is entitled The Fairy Thresher.