Irish Love Stories

Book cover

For lovers, yesterday was divine. Today is almost unbearable happiness. Tomorrow a promise.
True, wonderful, heart-stopping love. The kind of rapture that stands between us and life itself. Lovers don’t count time; for love has no end.
‘I love you’, says a whisper in the breeze. ‘I will love you for a thousand years.’
Love springs where it’s least expected, a wild flower met by a dusty track. Or a warm shadow on a path on a moonlit night.
Love begins with a single glance.  When two become one.

But, true love is not for the faint-hearted, for there are those who would thwart the path of true love, as some of our stories will show.

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Dublin Urban Legends 

from the introduction

  The urban legend is a hard beast to capture in a few words of explanation. It is at once a story of the imagination and a sombre relating of truth. It is comic or it is tragic, only depending on the humour of the teller or listener. It is a story told as true, in a recognisable setting peopled by believable characters who have paused in their daily lives to deal with the matter in hand, whether it be humorous or dreadful.
Cars, planes and trains are often the setting for the briefest of stories.
However, a study of the genre often reveals the core of many legends have been around for a very long time indeed, which may explain why many people accept a story of a thief losing his fingers to a fleeing motorist as a fact that they vaguely remember from personal memory. They may well have heard it before in a different milieu.
Urban legends travel lightly.
Where once they travelled by word of mouth and were retold as personal stories of wonder, they now fly around the world at the stroke of a keyboard onto the Internet where there is a ferocious appetite for such true stories.
Whether they started in Dublin and wandered away with the Irish diaspora or arrived in the city from somewhere else, far away, is not always easy to decide. What is true, however, is that in Dublin they are told as Dublin stories.
Perhaps the biggest urban legend of them all is the origin of the word quiz, said to have been invented by a Dublin theatre manager as a wager.
The word began life on a Saturday night and became legend by Sunday morning, it was said. Who knows what’s true for they are all urban legends.

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See some stories on video here

Wicklow Folk Tales

Wicklow is full of stories. Wonder at a farmer returned from market who found he was dead and buried. Discover why two lovers leapt to death on the Dargle river; or why a Wicklow man was paid by a Dublin employer to return home without doing a tap of work; You may consider if a cure for baldness really works; or whether it is as wise to leave a sleeping army lie where it is, in Rathdrum, until needed. Wicklow has as many stories as there are people travelling its roads; many are gathered here.
In Wicklow, you may come across a storyteller on a quiet road, at a crossroads, in a library, a storytelling event, or, in many other places, and when you least expect it.
Long ago, people did their week’s shopping when they went to church on Sundays, for it was a long journey into town, otherwise. Stories tumbled out of the back of the church while the mass proceeded and along village streets, in and out of tiny shops crammed with neighbours’ bodies all buying in for the week ahead and looking for something to reflect on in the quiet countryside of the everyday.
You may not at first recognise a storyteller that you meet, for they will be of any age, gender, or disposition. They will listen to you for a while, with respect for your own told history, before gently launching into a narrative drawn from their own seasoned store of traditional story. Many will lightly tell a tale of a recent happening to someone you may well recognise, though slightly disguised to allow for a little creativity in the telling. Or, they may recall a story that has come through the oral tradition of the county. The story may have been passed along many times, by many storytellers, at a winter fireside perhaps, with flickering rush light above a floor of clay through the long nights  when little work could be done and darkness had to be brightened in some convivial manner, lest demons take away the innocent.
In a story you will smile at authority bested; sigh at a wrong done to someone many centuries past; delight in evil bested, or the escape of the virtuous. You may wonder if you were to seek for gold in the Goldmines river if you would become rich, or would you find treasure turn to leaves in your hand, once more, once the Little People had played tricks with you?
Enjoy the story.

Quickly now, dean deifir.

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Wexford Folk Tales

Tea drinking  in Wexford can be a dangerous pastime

WEXFORD has a rich heritage of myths and legends which is uniquely captured in this collection of traditional tales from across the county that will immerse you in a Wexford that some say is past and others say is all around you, still. Discover the remarkable story of the 140-year-old-man who died a premature death, the arrival of the antichrists (six of them) in Wexford, the dangers of love potions and how two people came back from the dead, together with tales of leprechaun mischief, mermaids, grave robbing and buried treasure.
Their origins are lost in the mists of time, but these stories, illustrated with twenty line drawings, bring to life Wexford’s dramatic landscape and are sure to appeal to both local and visitor alike.
Wexford is a place of boundless story and legend that reaches out to tantalise and intrigue those hearing these stories for the first time.

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Dublin Folk Tales

Buying this book is cheaper than going to a doctor for depression and far more effective, said a recovering reader Brendan’s gathering of stories have been passed from generation to generation and include stories that give his home city its unique character. They range from the strange to the profound, from the tragic to the festive, from season to season and age to age. But, most of all they are about Dubliners and their city, every one, told by a Dublin storyteller. Dublin Folk Tales is published by the History Press. It’s in the shops waiting for you. Or, order a signed copy here

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Barking Mad Tales of Liars, Lovers, Loonies and Layabouts

Brendan Nolan has been telling stories of local characters and events for as long as anyone would listen to him.

This gathering of tales of strange people he has encountered includes the woman who faced jail over an unpaid dog licence, a man that swam so low in the water that people thought he was a seal and went seal hunting in Lucan, and the woman who insisted that Rock Hudson kissed her one warm night in the valley.

They are all here: from the entrepreneur who tried to sell Miss Elvis a DVD on the phone to the non-blind man who saw turkey feathers fall from the sky when the coalman arrived at Christmas. Few people realise that an on-the-run Jesse James became a postman in Lucan and fell in love with a local widow. And not forgetting the streaker who was kidnapped on a stag night, and pleaded not guilty to indecent behaviour.

Each of these titles has its own page on this website or, has its own dedicated website.
Click on the link to follow through; but don’t forget to return here for more.
Remembering always that all books listed may be ordered for home delivery

The Little Book of Dublin

Little Dublin 8152.indd The Little Book of Dublin is a compendium of fascinating and entertaining truths about the city, past and present.
Herein lie famous elements of Dublin’s history cheek by jowl with little known facts that could so easily pass unnoticed.

A reliable reference book and a quirky guide, this treasure trove can be dipped into time and time again to reveal something new about the people, the heritage and secrets of this ancient and fascinating city.

Phoenix Park a History and Guidebook

Phoenix Park has been a part of Dublin and Ireland since the seventeenth century.
Princes, presidents and paupers have passed the night in the park; some have enjoyed their stay, some came to harm, sadly some even lost their lives. Their spirits, may haunt the park to this day.
The park is a large enclosed area of 1,752 acres. Phoenix Park always has been Dublin’s own Pleasure Gardens and it faces the 21st century with fortitude and expectation as life goes on in the park, as ever.

The Irish Companion

The Irish Companion is an arresting collection of mythology and facts tol keep you enthralled long past the witching hour when soft noises on the windowpane will persuade you to douse the light and snuggle beneath the bedcovers, for fear of an Irish night.
A copy, signed and dedicated, by contributing editor Brendan Nolan makes an ideal gift and memento for visitors, for those Irish living in the fifth province and for native alike.



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