At MoLI we are lucky enough to be surrounded by nature! We have two beautiful old trees in our garden. The Ash tree has stood for generations and is the location of James Joyce’s graduation photo from his time studying in UCD, Newman House. The other, an Arbutus tree rumoured to be more than 200 years old is a favourite of our resident blackbird for it’s bright red, strawberry-like fruit! This book teaches us more than just the identity of trees but their history and importance to the Irish people through the ages.
Niall Mac Coitir brings to life the myths, legends and folklore associated with native Irish trees, much of which persists to this day. Two main themes emerge: the tree as a marker of important places such as royal sites or holy wells, and the role of trees as sources of magical power in folk customs and traditions, such as carrying a blackthorn staff when out walking at night to ward off evil spirits. Beautifully illustrated and imaginatively written, this mix of natural history, mythology and folklore will entertain and enlighten all interested in Ireland’s trees.