Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Joyful Irish View of the Afterlife

An excerpt from a page created by M. Seaver. Last revised 3/28/00.

The world of the Irish afterlife is known by many names. The exact location of this wonderful land is not known. The one thing agreed upon by most is that it lies to the west of Ireland. Some of the names associated with it are:

  • Tir na n-Og
  • The Land of the Young
  • Hy-Brasil
  • the Isle of the Blest

Beyond all dreams my land delights,
Fairer than any eyes have seen,
All year round, the fruits hang bright,
As the flowers bloom in the meadows green.
Wild honey drips from the forest trees,
We have endless stocks of meadow and wine,
No illness comes from Across the seas,
Nor death, nor pain, nor sad decline.
No boredom comes to feast or chase,
The music plays as the champions sport,
The light and splendours all increase
Each day in the Golden Land of Youth. (qtd. in Delaney 87)

Everything in this land was beautiful, bright and colorful. Delaney notes that it is called the Land of the Young because in this paradise, the aging process is reversed, so the youngest are the wisest. Time has no meaning in this place, and day changes to night and then back to day for one person whenever they desired it to do so. Everyone's soul desired to get to this wonderful place, which was more like a dream world than a land for the dead (85-95). The land was full of color, it was a lively land, bright and cheerful. It was as large or as small of a land as they wanted.

Works Cited

Cerf, Bennet and Donald S. Klopfer. Bulfinch's Mythology. New York: Random House, 1960.
Delaney, Frank. Legends of the Celts. New York: Sterling, 1992.
Fitzgerald, Dominic. "Celtic Mythology." August 1998. Online. 21 Oct. 1999 <>
Severy, Merle. "The Celts." National Geographic 151 no. 5 (May 1997): 582-633.

History and Thought of Western Man
Rich East High School * Park Forest, IL 60466

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