We all know that the Irish are superstitious, but did you know that a Fairy Tree delayed a motorway in Co. Clare for almost ten years? Yes, that’s right. A Fairy Tree. (More to come on fairies and Fairy Trees in future Blog Posts.) In 1999, the upgrading of the National route from Limerick to Galway was postponed and rerouted for ten years after it was supposed to start. All because of a little tree-strong with Irish beliefs and
A local folklorist and story teller, Eddie Lenihan, raised opposition to the construction of the motorway, as the plans would demolish this historic tree directly in its path. You see, the tree is significant, as it is a meeting point for the fairies of Munster (The southern province of Ireland.) when they go into battle with the fairies of Connaught (The western province of Ireland.).
So, the road was eventually moved to accommodate the fairies. Imagine that! However, I’m sure a lot of you are probably still concerned, as the fairies still have to cross over a busy highway to meet. Yikes! Luckily, most of them fly. The Clare County Council, is even required by contract to protect access to the Fairy Tree. Therefore, a fence has been built around it and no one can come with in 15 feet of the tree.
Unfortunately, someone attacked the tree in 2002 with a chainsaw. Maybe it was the Connaught Fairies playing a joke on the Munster Fairies. The good news is that the culprit/s only cut branches and the tree was able to grow back. (It was alive and healthy, as I passed it on my travels this summer.) The bad news is, as legend has it-the person who cuts a Fairy Tree will never have a good night’s sleep again!
So, if you are traveling with Tenon Tours on an
Escorted tour of Ireland
, or an
Ireland Self Drive Tour
, and find yourself on the N18-don’t forget to look out for the Munster Fairies, give them a wave, and wish them good luck when they go into battle.