Fun Facts

Gerald of Wales or Giraldus Cambrensis was an archdeacon of mixed Norman and Welsh families. He travelled in Ireland and wrote an account of the country and its people which did not always portray the Irish positively.

The word ráth also appears in many Irish place-names. Some are in and around modern cities such as Rathgar and Rathfarnham in Dublin. These come from the Irish Ráth Garbh ‘rough ringfort’ and Ráth Fearnáin ‘Fearnán’s ringfort’ respectively.

Ireland has an average of one ringfort for every 2 km2 of land. The Twitter account @everyringfort is attempting to post photos and details of nearly 30,000 of them at the rate of one an hour. It will take 1240 days or 177 weeks or 3.4 years to get through them all!

The mound in which supernatural people or ‘fairies’ are supposed to live is called a in Modern Irish. This word is found in place-names like Mullanashee in Co. Sligo, which comes from Irish Mullach na Sí ‘the hill of the fairy mound’.