Neo-paganism in the Republic of Ireland

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"Neo-paganism in the Republic of Ireland" redirects here. See Neopaganism in the United Kingdom for statistics of Northern Ireland.

Many Neo-pagan religions such as Wicca, Druidry and Celtic Polytheism have active followings in Ireland, although the number of declared adherents is likely quite small.[1]

Prior to 1990, Neo-pagan groups in Ireland tended to be regarded as eccentrics; however since then their profile has risen considerably. This is due to several reasons. The decline in influence of the Catholic church has prompted many to explore other belief systems. Discoveries of previously-unknown astronomical alignments at stone circles, mountains and burial sites have indicated that the ancient Irish were more technologically advanced than previously thought.

Extensive road and motorway development since the mid-1990s has endangered several Celtic heritage sites, and Neo-pagan groups have frequently been involved in protests against these works. The highest-profile protests were against the proposed M3 motorway, which cuts through the Tara-Skryne or Gabhra valley in County Meath and close to the Hill of Tara, the traditional seat of the High Kings of Ireland. Druidic groups in particular have been heavily involved in protesting the motorway's development.[2]

Wicca in Ireland[edit]

A number of Wiccan temples and covens exist in Ireland -

Teampall Na Calliaghe based in Kells, Co. Meath is run by Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone; who have also published a number of books on Wicca.

Wiccan author Lora O'Brien], who has published works specifically dealing with witchcraft in Ireland [3] runs a coven in County Roscommon

Druidry in Ireland[edit]

There are a number of well-established Druidic groups in Ireland -

  • The Irish College of Druids
  • Ireland's Druid School based in Castlerea, County Roscommon represents "a spiritual path connecting the three realms and the three cauldrons with natural time and may not be seen as a religion"

The Irish Druid Network website is a good source for news and maintains a comprehensive list of Druidic schools, groves and other resources.

Neo-Pagan events in Ireland[edit]

An event currently known as the Feile Draiochta (Festival of Magic) has been held on a semi-annual basis since 2003. It aims to provide a national platform for various pagan groups with a focus on Irish heritage, Celtic traditions and mythology, modern magic, healing, divination, mediumship and cultural & environmental issues. The most recent event was held in October 2009 in Wynn's Hotel in Dublin.

References[edit]

  1. ^ No exact figures are officially gathered, but census results for 2006 indicated that 54,033 people stated "Other" as their religion; a percentage of these probably follow some pagan tradition.http://www.cso.ie/statistics/popnclassbyreligionandnationality2006.htm
  2. ^ "Modern Day Druids at the Hill of Tara in Ireland". www.perceptivetravel.com. 
  3. ^ O'Brien, Lora (1 October 2004). "Irish Witchcraft from an Irish Witch". Career Press – via Google Books.