The Irish Folklore Centre

Providing a focus for the whole Irish folk tradition

The bad stepmother

This tale is from Patrick Kennedy’s (1866) collection of Wexford stories and was told to him by a young man who was the gardener, ploughman and house-boy to the local reverend.  This theme is ubiquitous; Cinderella and Hansel & Gretel are examples from other countries. While there must be stories of good stepmothers, they are […]

The Palace in the rath

This is a Wexford story from Patrick Kennedy’s (1866) collection.  It is also found in Brittany.  It shows both the helpful and impatient side to the fairies.  A rath was an ancient ring fort which, today, is a small circular meadow surrounded by a mound overgrown with bushes.  As my intent is just to get […]