Irish road problem: finger of blame pointed at … fairies!

Irish road problem: finger of blame pointed at … fairies! August 8, 2017

Until today I had never heard of fairy forts. Then along came a report from the Irish Times which says that a relatively new road is cursed because fairy forts were destroyed in its construction.
The theory that it’s the-fairies-wot-did-it was put forward by Ireland Independent Teachta Dála Danny Healy-Rae, above. He insists that a dip in the Kerry road – which had been repaired before  – keeps reappearing because of fairy forts.

There are numerous fairy forts in that area. I know that they are linked. Anyone that tampered with them back over the years paid a high price and had bad luck.

Asked if he believed in fairies, the TD said the local belief – which he shared – was that:

There was something in these places you shouldn’t touch.

These were “sacred places” and fairies were believed to inhabit them, he added.
Healy-Rae, who owns a plant hire company, said:

I have a machine standing in the yard right now. And if someone told me to go out and knock a fairy fort or touch it, I would starve first.

He first raised the issue of fairies at a Kerry County Council meeting in February 2007 after the N22, then a relatively new national primary road, developed a dip near Curraglass.
In a formal motion on the cause of the hollow, Mr Healy-Rae, then a councillor, had asked:

Is it fairies at work?

The council’s road department replied that it was due to:

A deeper underlying subsoil/geotechnical problem.

The issue was again raised at a county council meeting last week, where Healy-Rae’s daughter Maura said her father was convinced fairies were in the area.
Yesterday he said the road network passes through an extensive area of standing stones, stone circles and ancient monuments that is rich in folklore and fairy stories and that was causing the problem.

That is what is responsible for the dip in the N22 which has occurred again, despite the council spending around €40,000 to repair it.

Healy-Rae has a brother – also a TD – who appears to be away with the fairies as well. The BBC reports that Jackie Healy-Rae has previously hit the headlines for comments in which he denied any human impact on climate change and said that “God above” controlled the weather.

A couple of years ago, Eddie Lenihan, above, famed Irish author, storyteller and broadcaster, warned West Pharmaceutical, an American company, that the destruction or removal of a fairy fort on land it was developing would spell dire consequences and bad luck for all those involved .
And this from the Tripping Blonde blog:

There are many examples of misfortune that fell upon folks who disturbed these ancient fairy forts, including stories of septic hands and missing cows, to some more modern examples of personal doom and financial ruin.
For example, some say that the individuals who signed off on the partial destruction of fairy forts in the Tara Skyrne Valley to make way for the M3 motorway suffered severe hardships and freak accidents as a result of their decision. Doom and gloom struck these men as soon as construction of the motorway began in 2007.   
In 2011, some say the fairies got their revenge on one of Ireland’s richest men, Sean Quinn.  In 1992, he relocated a 4,000 year old megalithic burial tomb that was in the way of a business venture.  Twenty years later, in 2011, Sean Quinn lost everything and declared bankruptcy.
Although there are a few folks in Ireland who disregard the fairy forts and chalk these suspicious events up to coincidence (Hi Uncle Gabe!), there are many more who are very superstitious (Hello Mom!). When it comes to the fairy forts, they simply stay away.  What better place for a fairy to take cover than in a fort where no human will dare go?

Hat tip: BarrieJohn

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  • remigius

    He’s got a point. Not all faeries are cute little cuties tinkerbelling around on their little gossamer wings spreading love and magic dust – some of them are right bastards!
    Such as the feckin’ Feegles – described as a cross between the Smurfs and soccer hooligans. They’re lazy, hard-drinking, foul-mouthed little gobshites. It wouldn’t surprise me if they were behind the road problems in the report.

  • Broga

    The fairies are no more unlikely than angels, the Holy Ghost or the Devil. Many people believe in them. I prefer the fairies although I haven’t seen any myself.

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  • Angela_K

    Douglas Adams quotation springs to mind: “Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are faeries at the bottom of it too?”

  • tonye

    And don’t forget the Fairies of Fairy Bridge in Isle of Man, whom are deemed as ‘mischievous’.

  • Cali Ron

    I took a look at the Wikipedia page remigius linked and I’m quite amused by it. The whole thing is written as if fairies actually exist. They do exist, but only in peoples minds, just like god. Me thinks someone might have rewrote that page and they haven’t caught up to it yet.

  • sailor1031

    Everything that I can find about “fairy forts” states that they are mounds not dips. I think we know who and where the dips actually are.

  • RussellW

    Fairies aren’t the real problem, it’s the pooka. They will make your life hell if you annoy them.

  • tonye

    I saw ‘Harvey’ 40 years ago.
    Still love it.
    And, to my knowledge, there are 3 points in the
    movie, where the pooka’s action can be seen.

  • RussellW

    Yes, it’s also about 40 years since I saw the movie.
    The only instance I can think of is when Harvey alters text in a dictionary so he can communicate with the sceptical Mr Wilson.
    Of course ‘Harvey’ is more mischievous than malevolent.

  • Robster

    Well, it’s good to see them not blaming the usually favoured magic sky fairy so beloved by those in silly hats and churches.

  • barriejohn

    I agree that fairies really exist – just as ghosts and dreams exist…and gods. My grandfather was from Connemara, and my father always claimed – due to the many happy coincidences that blessed his life* – that he had a leprechaun on his shoulder. It’s as good an explanation as “The Lord has really blessed me, and guided me every step of the way”.
    (*My father and his best friend joined the navy at about the same time. My father was sent to the new Ark Royal, later surviving Arctic Convoy duty aboard a destroyer, and making a very successful career from his training as an electrician; his mate joined HMS Hood, and you don’t need me to tell you how that worked out for the poor lad. His name is on the Hood memorial in nearby Boldre Church. Just imagine how a religious person would have recounted THAT story!)

  • 1859

    Then it is as clear as daylight that the fairies were behind Trumps election – not the Russians! I think Putin should be informed of this discovery. The world at last makes sense.

  • barriejohn

    @1859: You’re right there. No nation in the world is more Irish than the Americans!

  • 1859

    I notice, however, there is no mention of those devious leprechauns. What role are they playing in road construction, the fiasco at the White House and global politics?

  • Broga

    1859: The fairies are going for broke with Trump. I heard him this morning slavering over the prospect of obliterating North Korea if Kim Jong Whatsit, the fat man with the unfortunate haircut and lethal intent, as much as threatens the USA.
    Trump’s fragile ego which needs praise in the same quantities as God, is being fractured by his plummeting poll ratings. He cannot stand the emotional pain and he is a sick fantasist without insight. He needs a war.

  • Brian Jordan

    It’s not fair ro fairies! They should be embraced as diverse members of the island’s population and found suitable employment to affirm their equality. I suggest that they be employed by the EU to enforce the North-South border. Any smugglers would then find themselves in a fairy fort for quite a while.

  • Broga

    Danny looks like a man who knows about fairies.

  • tonye

    The other two instances where Harvey ‘appears’ onscreen is in the last 10 minutes.
    The first is when James Stewart is talking to him out the back of the hospital – the chair is swinging on its own accord.
    The second is when they leave the building and Harvey opens the gate to allow JS through.

  • latsot

    Based on the admittedly 2 minutes of reading I’ve just done after having heard of them for the first time, it seems criminal to remove a Fairy Fort to build a road.
    If the one removed was a bronze age dwelling (as at least many of them seem to be) then I think the world would be better with it in rather than not. They look like cool places to visit and to learn about, providing people can get over the ‘fairy’ part.

  • barriejohn

    @latsot: Well said. We moved to Swindon when I was twelve years of age, and over the years I fell in love with the Downs, the Ridgeway, and the ancient monuments like West Kennet Longbarrow and Wayland Smithy, and although I eschew the term “spiritual” I always found it magical visiting Avebury Stone Circle. You definitely get a “funny feeling” when you’re there on your own!

  • Barry Duke