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Irish folklore

Irish folklore

Storytelling is a big part of Irish heritage. So many novelists, poets and playwrights love to indulge in storytelling, which is an inherent part of our people. Irish folklore is how we keep our culture going, passing down tales from one generation to the next. On this page, you’ll find all you need to know about the best myths and tales in the land.

Comhairle Bheal has been created to bring you an array of fables from years gone by. It used to be that stories were recited and transmitted from one generation to the next, and we want to keep the tradition going. After all, it’s a testament to our belief in banshees, leprechauns, fairies and changelings.

Our aim is to keep mythical creatures alive and well. From epic poems and literature to songs and prose, we share stories of all sorts of exciting creatures with you.

On this site, you will find:

  • Irish folklore
  • Myths and legends
  • Characters from bygone tales

Irish Folklore At Its Best

The National Folklore Collection of Ireland or Comhairle Bheal is a great port of call for all things mythical. Our site has been designed to provide you with the most creative, outlandish and traditional stories that have been passed on between generations for hundreds of years.

If you love Irish culture, you’ll love Irish fairy tales and mythology. It’s a fascinating topic, full of war and drama and strange and fascinating creatures. It has also inspired a great deal of today’s art and forms a big part of our local identity.

How Did It All Begin?

It all started with the Celts. This band of farmers, tribes and warriors hail from the European Alps and spread out to occupy the continent. It’s a society that placed much emphasis on victory and war, religion, wealth and even beauty. They were also skilled storytellers.

The first mention of the Celts comes from Roman sources. When the first missionaries arrived in Ireland to convert the Celts that were left, some forward-thinking monks collected and wrote down stories. As these stories were passed down, elements were misunderstood, lost and added to.

Irish folklore

Irish Mythology

Irish folklore can be divided into four cycles. Each cycle contains different characters and stories. In most cases, they are all entwined. The four cycles are the Mythological Cycle, Ulster Cycle, Fenian Cycle and Historical Cycle. Each has its own intriguing stories, tales and fascinating myths.

Myth or fact? It doesn’t matter. Irish folklore is an inherent part of the culture, and we’re here to keep it alive by sharing all the incredible tales that your great-grandmother probably knew by heart, just like her great-grandmother. If it’s an Irish myth, you’ll find it here.

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Irish folklore

Frequently Asked Questions

It’s similar. Like most Irish heritage, it all started with the Celts and the stories told by them and created about them during the times of Roman reign.

It depends who you ask. On this site, you’ll find tales of fairies and leprechauns, shamrocks and changelings. Which is your favourite Irish folklore? Read through the different stories to decide.

Comhairleb heal is the National Folklore Collection of Ireland. We collate news, tales and information and bring it to you right here on this site.