Interest in the Myths

Overall, interest in learning more about Irish Mythology is high, with over 80% of respondents expressing interest in obtaining more information about the Myths.

Respondents overwhelmingly described the stories that they were familiar with as “interesting” and “wonderful”, although there is a distinction about how these stories are viewed.

70% of Irish respondents disagreed that these myths were part of a comic Ireland image, (leprechauns, little people), whereas 59% of US respondents felt they were.

Familiarity with the Stories

However, overall the familiarity with these stories is very low, with only a select few such as Cú Chulainn, Children of Lir, Fionn Mac Cumhall receiving relatively high levels of recognition.

Of the 14 key characters in the Myths reviewed, on average over half of respondents answered “not familiar at all” with even poorer numbers with the diaspora’s familiarity, the UK respondents having the most favourable numbers of that group.

Familiarity with the Cycles of Myth

There are four cycles of Irish Myth: Mythological, Ulster, Fenian, King. There is a relatively high level of recognition of the Ulster Cycle (CúChulainn) and the Fenian Cycle (Fionn MacCumhall).

There is very little familiarity with the Mythological Cycle (except when the Children of Lir is included in the Cycle) and the King Cycle (Cormac MacAirt).

Character Familiarity Overview

Respondents: Top 3 Most Familiar Characters :
Overall Fionn MacCumhal, Cuchulain, Lir
Ireland Fionn MacCumhal, Cuchulain, Lir
Diaspora Fionn MacCumhal, Ceasair*, Lugh
U.S.A Fionn MacCumhal, Ceasair*, Balor
U.K & N.I Ceasair, Fionn MacCumhal, Lugh
Australia Nemed, Fionn MacCumhal. Cuchulain

* querying this data has led to the conclusion that respondents most likely confused the Irish; Ceasair, with the Roman; Caesar.

Respondents: Top 3 Least Familiar Characters:
Overall Amhairghin Glungheal , Nemed, Parthalon
Ireland Amhairghin Glungheal, Nemed, Ceasair
Diaspora Amhairghin Glungheal, Lir, Midhir
U.S.A Cuchulain, Amhairghin Glungheal, Lir
U.K Lugh, Amhairghin, Nemed
Australia Lir, Midhir, Lugh