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Museum of Literature Ireland
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UCD Naughton Joyce Centre
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Otherworld Islands In Folk Tradition

Bluiríní Béaloidis


Native European and Irish Tradition posits the existence of an Otherworld realm lying beyond the furthest reaches of the horizon; an island of plenty and abundance, where happiness lasts forever, and where one hundred years pass as one day. The Greek Elysium, King Arthur’s Avalon, the Odainsakr of the Norse and the Irish Land of the Living all point to a long-held corpus of beliefs regarding a paradise across the ocean.
For the 16th instalment of Blúiríní Béaloidis, hosts Jonny Dillon and Claire Doohan set forth upon the waves to Teach Duinn (The House of Donn), to which the souls of Ireland’s heathen dead were said to travel with the setting of the sun. Continuing their voyage, Claire and Jonny venture onwards over the seas ‘flowery plains’ visiting ‘thrice fifty islands’ with the great Connle, Mael Dúin, Bran and St. Brendan as their companions.

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