Wednesday, 21 April 2010


The Irish goddess Macha once agreed to marry a farmer whose first wife had recently died. The farmer took Macha to a horse race and there fell into the trap of bragging that his new wife could run faster than the king’s horses. The king was furious and ordered Macha to race against his thoroughbreds, even though Macha was heavily pregnant. The goddess did so, beat the horses, and gave birth to twins on the finish line. As a punishment for the men who had used her thus, Macha cursed them to suffer labour pains at a time in the future when they most needed to be fit and strong.

The moral is age-old. A wronged woman will seek revenge. There is something of Macha in all women. ‘Hats Off to Mary’ contains men who use women for their own ends, a bunch of racehorses and a lass whose reprisal for being scorned is equal to that of any vengeful goddess.

Edited by Gerard Brennan & Mike Stone

Requiems for the Departed
Irish Crime, Irish Myths.

Requiems for the Departed can now be pre-ordered on the Morrigan Books website.

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