At the beginning of the 21st Century monsters still roam the remote, and sometimes not so remote, corners of our planet. It is our job to search for them. The Centre for Fortean Zoology [CFZ] is - we believe - the largest professional, scientific and full-time organisation in the world dedicated to cryptozoology - the study of unknown animals. Since 1992 the CFZ has carried out an unparalleled programme of research and investigation all over the world. Since 2009 we have been running the increasingly popular CFZ Blog Network, and although there has been an American branch of the CFZ for over ten years now, it is only now that it has a dedicated blog.

Thursday, 31 May 2018

WEREWOLVES OF IRELAND

Ireland in the Midddle Ages, apart from having a high king, had a considerable number of petty kingdoms.  One of these was called Ossory, called after its resident tribe, the Osraige.  The last king was Donal IV, whose reign ended in 1176.

The curious thing about the Osraige was they had the local reputation of turning into werewolves from time to time.  This is strange because their tribal name comes from the word os, an old or obsolescent word for a deer.  How they attained a reputation for lycanthropy is anybody's guess.  As wolves were widespread in Ireland, it is not impossible that they dressed in wolfskins for some ritual or ceremony.

The word for a werewolf in the Irish language (which was the majority language in the country before 1850) is conriocht.  However, there was in early times a special word for a female werewolf: conoel (modern conaol).


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