Stories Of Ulster [Radio Ulster]


0101Of Fairy Folk And Magical Beings2019033120190404 (RU)

Marty Cullen treads lightly around the tenuous tempers of Ulster's fairy folk, hearing some of lesser known stories of their wrath and learning how to survive their curses.

The fairies of Ireland aren't the friendly winged companions of the silver screen or children's books. Forget Tinkerbell, the Fairy Godmother or pestering pixies, these fairies can take any form they like. They could be the person sitting beside you on the bus, they could be a cow in the field with a strange look in its eye or a horse, a hare, or even a hound.

The creatures of Ireland's sidhe and otherworld come to life in this episode through the tongue of a storytellers tale. In the midst of the Mourne Mountains, Steve Lally tells the story of Atty Jack, a man who disrespected the fairies and ended up with donkey ears. Bernadette Layden remembers one of Fermanagh's most famous sons, Donn Binn Maguire, who was taken hostage into a fairy kingdom. Plus, on the coast of Donegal, the eternal call of the sea proves too strong for one mother. Joe Brennan tells of a selkies return home.

Marty Cullen treads lightly around the tenuous tempers of Ulster's fairy folk.

Marty Cullen explores Ulster's legends and myths.

0102Of Gods And Fighting Men20190407

In Ulster we have tales so epic that even Homer is left shaken on his pedestal. From the towering mountains of our borderlands, to the barren hills of Donegal; tales of things human and mythical leap from the landscape and into our imagination. In this series, the tales of our fair folk, mischievous thieves and ghosts will breathe new life through song, recitation and even poetry. They will stretch from old tales of fishermen plighted by creatures of the sea to more modern, borderland smugglers with reams of sausages under their shirts.
In this episode, Marty hears how his childhood hero, Cú Chulainn’s playboy antics got him chased by a stampede of knife-wielding women. He learns how to tie his shoes from the life lessons of a bad tempered saint and the setting of Ireland’s ancient song type, ‘The Lay’ is recreated from the words of one of Ulster’s most harrowing tales, ‘Deirdre of the Sorrows’.

Marty Cullen hears the lesser-known legends of Ulster's gods and fighting men.

Marty Cullen explores Ulster's legends and myths.

0103Of Rapparees And Resurrections2019041420190418 (RU)

Your money or your life! Marty Cullen uncovers Ulster’s underworld of rapparees, resurrections and restless souls.

Lissan House in Cookstown stretches back to the Ulster plantations and is believed to be one of the most haunted in Ireland. From the lady of the house who threatens guests with a candelabrum, to The Barefoot Baronet who creeps quietly through its corridors – the ghosts in this house have a bone to pick.

Redmond O’Hanlon is largely considered Ulster’s most infamous outlaw. He patrolled the roads between the Louth, Armagh and South Down area, robbing the rich and making the poor pay The Black Rent, basically protection money. He once had a gang of almost 50 men, all loyal to his cause besides one... who led to his downfall.

In Co. Armagh there are not one, but two resurrection stories. These were both women who were laid to rest beneath the ground, but arrived home at their own wake. One of their stories sparked one of Ireland’s most famous headstones, ‘Lived Once Buried Twice’.

Marty Cullen uncovers Ulster's underworld of rapparees, resurrections and restless souls.

Marty Cullen explores Ulster's legends and myths.

0104Of Yarns And Tall Tales2019042120190425 (RU)

Marty Cullen hears border tales of sly characters, sausage smuggling and homemade veterinary surgeries.

Ulster's border counties have had a long tradition of rural tales that drag the listener along through a seemingly truthful setting before falling apart into a ridiculous joke. Marty grew up around the South Armagh area listening to the tales of John Campbell and Mick Quinn, who told exaggerated tales from their childhood that twist and turn in the most brilliant way.

In this episode, Marty is meeting the next generation to carry this torch:

Terry Conlon is a musician and farmer from Cullyhanna, who tells stories from his own life as well as old favorites from his locality. Terry tells Marty the story of the swinging plough, a majestic contraption that would dislocate your shoulder with one wrong move.

Marty tells a tale of a butcher who was wise to sausage smuggling during ration times and a two for one deal that was too good to pass.

Finally, Frank McCarron tells the tale of Cricket McKenna, a Monaghan man with quick wits, a risk taking manner and luck to match.

Marty Cullen hears border tales of sausage smuggling and homemade veterinary surgeries.

Marty Cullen explores Ulster's legends and myths.