The Ancient Hag of Ireland is waiting for you at the National Leprechaun Museum
The Cackling Cailleach Returns for a Spooktacular Samhain
The Cailleach, the ancient hag of wisdom and Irish Folklore, is set to return to The National Leprechaun Museum for the season of Samhain. We’ve all visited Santa Claus at Christmas, this Halloween why not visit the witch in her lair underneath the museum; the original site of the Jervis Street Morgue! The Cailleach will be available for adults only visits every Friday and Saturday night after 6.30pm in September and October with under 18s visits from Friday 23 October to Sunday 1 November before 6.30pm. If your little ones can’t wait until then, all ages can venture into the witch’s lair on Culture Night, Friday 18 September.
The witch wants to know how naughty you’ve been, the little tricks you’ve played in school, the time you’ve skived off in the park. She doesn’t care for goody two shoes, so pull a sickie and bring the brats they’ll thank you for it later.
As the world draws breath, the ancient year draws to a close. The festival of Samhain, summers end, celebrates life, death, and life beyond death. The Cailleach Bhéarra is the divine hag of Ireland she appears across the Island from The Beara peninsula in Cork to Slieve Gullion in Armagh, from the cliffs of Moher in Clare to Loughcrew in Co. Meath. The great rocks she threw upon the coast can still be seen today, she bore the harvest and tested our heroes. She has come in many forms and goes by many names. The Hag remembers who we are and where we came from.
The Cailleach is the ancient mother of all Ireland. She is referred to often from medieval times, but her presence stretches back to a much earlier time, a time before books and writing. Across the land rocks and cairns, tombs and graves are her seats, her beds and her homes.
Fionn Mac Cumhaill once chased her from the hill of Allen in Kildare to Slieve Gullion in Armagh. At the top of the mountain she appeared as a young woman. When he dived into her lake of tears, he became as old as she, even when she restored his youth his hair stayed pure white. The doorway of her home on the Slieve faces the setting sun on the darkest day of the year (just as, Brú na Boinne, Newgrange greets the rising sun). Some say Fionn lies sleeping there waiting for the call of the Fianna to wake him.
Beneath her mountain home, at Spellick, the Hag’s chair is one of her many great stone seats. At Labbacallee (the bed of the Cailleach) in Cork she has a bed, the Beara peninsula is named for her and the eerie caves of Keshcorran tell of her mysterious prestige. Across the island the Cailleach comes to life out of our earliest dreams.
The National Leprechaun Museum is dedicated to Irish folklore, mythology and storytelling. With spoken word it aims to bring folklore to life for everyone. Based in Dublin city centre, it opened in 2010 and has welcomed over 350,000 visitors.
Tickets are available through the Leprechaun Museum website.
Ticket and Times:
All Ages: 23 October to 1 November before 6.30pm – €6
Over 18s: After 6.30pm Friday and Saturday from September – €9.00
Maximum 3 people per visit
The National Leprechaun Museum, bringing folklore to life for everyone.
Jervis Street Dublin 1 Tel (01) 873 3899