Fairy Forts

During our excursion to the Cliffs of Moher we heard about the many superstitions that continue in Ireland, and the most intriguing was the preservation of the Fairy Forts. Roadways have been re-routed and developments scrapped when fairy forts are threatened. It’s bad luck to disturb the fairy forts and there are many stories, old and new, about misfortune as a result of destruction of these special places.

A fairy fort is an earthen mound, also known as raiths, and they date back to the pre-Christian era. They can be identified by their circular remains. They’re found all across Ireland.

The belief that terrible consequences will befall those who disturb the fairy forts still persists in the Twenty-first Century. Most recently, a very wealthy Irish developer by the name of Sean Quinn purchased land that contained the remains of a fairy fort and bulldozed the land, despite the warning of the fairies’ revenge. In 2008 he was the richest man in Ireland, but was subsequently ruined, lost all of his fortune and went to prison in 2011. Most Irishmen will tell you that it wasn’t the banking or the development scandals that were his undoing, but rather his failure to heed the superstition about the fairy forts.

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