Ancient Tombs, Bog Buddies and The Celtic Wheel of Life

Your letter from Ireland shorts from the 2nd of January 2024.

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Ancient Tombs, Bog Buddies and The Celtic Wheel of Life

Céad míle fáilte, welcome to your Letter from Ireland “Shorts”.  Each Tuesday we’ll bring you a quick-read of some of our favourite and interesting Irish things for this week.

Newgrange, County Meath.
 Newgrange is just one tomb in the “Brú na Bóinne” (“Bend of the River Boyne”) in County Meath. It was built by stone age farmers and is over 5,200 years old. You can see a video of Carina talking a more about Newgrange here. It comes alive each year during the winter solstice, when a shaft of light enters through the passage of the tomb and illuminates all the way to the back of the tunnel passage. This unique event really draws a crowd! Have a look at this video to see people celebrating last year.

Our Irish surname of the week is O’Farrell. It is an anglicization of the Irish name “Ó Fearghail” (combining “O” meaning “descendant of” and “Fearghal” meaning “man of valour”). Originating in Longford, the Farrells were a significant sept and their history features prominently in the “Annals of the Four Masters“. Their Coat of Arms shows a gold lion on a green shield. To see where the name appears in Ireland in the mid 1800s go to this page on

The Celtic Wheel of Life” by Andy Baggott. If Celtic places and traditions such as those in Newgrange interest you, then have a look at this book which illustrates the Celtic cycle of the seasons – see how you can apply it to your life. Click here to see the book on amazon. 


Athbhliain faoi mhaise dhuit!

“Happy New Year!”

Click here to listen to how a native Irish speaker would say it.

IRISH CRAFT/PRODUCT WE LOVE (not an advert – just things we like) 

Bog Buddies make nice little framed mementos from pieces of turf (peat) that can be found throughout the bogs of Ireland. They are based in the boggy midland of Ireland and have designs for all occasions, even weddings. They make great little gifts and are a real connection to the Irish landscape.

bog buddies piece of peat shaped like Ireland
fieldday hand pouring Irish candles

That’s it for this week. Send us an email with any of your own favourites for inclusion in future emails, or if you’re a plus member leave a comment below.

Slán for now,
Mike & Carina.

Note: The above article may contain some affiliate links (for example the Amazon link) which means we get paid a small amount should you choose to purchase, at no extra cost to you. This helps us keep the show on the road!


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