Ancient Ireland was such a healthy place no poisonous plant could grow and cattle had to be restrained from over-eating in case they burst! In early Irish legend it wasn't St Patrick who expelled the snakes from Ireland, but Moses! A frog foretold the victory of the Normans in Ireland; the last wolf in Ireland was killed in Carlow in 1786; a cure for burns was to be licked by a person who had licked a lizard.
This compilation of folklore, legends, and history relating to animals in Ireland includes description of their relations with people and being hunted for food, fur, sport, or as vermin, and their position today. How and when non-native animals arrived in Ireland is discussed and how the boundary between wild and domestic animals has been more uncertain than people realise.
Ireland's Animals: Myths, Legends and Folklore book ends with an imaginative section inspired by stories of animal transformation, looking at twelve animals and how we can visualise ourselves as having their special qualities and so enrich our lives and deal with situations differently.
Niall MacCoitir grew up in a bilingual environment in Dublin with a love of Irish history, culture and nature instilled into him. After graduating from University College Dublin, he worked for Dublin County Council and now works for Fingal County Council. His previous books are Irish Trees: Myths, Legends and Folklore (2003) and Irish Wild Plants: Myths, Legends & Folklore (2006).