'Fairy curse' behind dips in Irish road - Danny Healy-Rae

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Fairy tree at Killary Harbour, County Galway, file picImage source, Tourism ireland
Image caption,
People tie ribbon to fairy trees, like this one at Killary Harbour in County Galway, to ask for blessings and good luck

Bad luck caused by disturbed fairy forts is causing dips in a major road between County Kerry and County Cork, an Irish member of parliament has said.

Danny Healy-Rae told the Irish Times that issues with the N22 were caused by "numerous fairy forts in the area".

The road had previously been repaired but problems had reappeared.

Mr Healy-Rae said he shared local belief that "there was something in these places you shouldn't touch".

He added that the road passed through an area that was rich in fairy folklore and magic.

The N22 is the main road between Killarney in County Kerry and Cork.

'I would starve first'

In Irish folklore, it is believed that disturbing areas, said to have strong connections to fairies, could bring bad luck or a curse.

These areas include fairy forts, also known as raths or lios, which are the remains of hillforts or ancient circular dwellings, and fairy trees or thorn bushes.

Some people believe that destroying or tampering with these forts, trees or bushes, could lead to them dying young or becoming seriously ill.

Media caption,

Residents near Annacloy talk about what might happen to those who removed a 'fairy tree' in the area

Mr Healy-Rae, an independent TD (Irish member of parliament) for County Kerry, said: "I have a machine standing in the yard right now. And if someone told me to go out and knock a fairy fort or touch it, I would starve first."

The issue was raised at Kerry County Council, where Mr Healy-Rae's daughter, Maura, is a councillor, last week.

She told a council meeting that her father was convinced fairies were in the area of the road problems.

Mr Healy-Rae also raised the issue at Kerry County Council in 2007 when he was a councillor, asking if a dip in the N22 near Curraglass was caused by "fairies at work".

The Irish Times reports that the council's road department replied that it was due to a "deeper underlying subsoil/geotechnical problem".

Mr Healy-Rae, whose brother Michael is also a TD, has previously hit the headlines for comments in which he denied any human impact on climate change and said that "God above" controlled the weather.