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A far darrig or fear dearg is a faerie of Irish mythology.

Etymology

The name far darrig is an Anglophone pronunciation of the Irish words fear dearg, meaning Red Man, as the far darrig is said to wear a red coat and cap.

Description

According to Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry the far darrig is classified as a solitary fairy along with the leprechaun and the clurichaun, all of whom are "most sluttish, slouching, jeering, mischievous phantoms."

Behavior

The far darrig in particular is described as one who "busies himself with practical joking, especially with gruesome joking".

Tale

A tale named The Lucky Guest, which Mr. Croker gives as taken down verbatim from the mouth of the narrator by Mr. M’Clise, the artist, gives the fullest account of this being.

A girl related that, when she was quite a child, one night, during a storm of wind and rain, a knocking was heard at the door of her father’s cabin, and a voice like that of a feeble old man craving admission. On the door’s being opened, there came in a little old man, about two feet and a half high, with a red sugar-loaf hat and a long scarlet coat, reaching down nearly to the ground, his hair was long and grey, and his face yellow and wrinkled. He went over to the fire (which the family had quitted in their fear), sat down and dried his clothes, and began smoking a pipe which he found there. The family went to bed, and in the morning he was gone. In about a month after he began to come regularly every night about eleven o’clock. The signal which he gave was thrusting a hairy arm through a hole in the door, which was then opened, and the family retired to bed, leaving him the room to himself. If they did not open the door, some accident was sure to happen next day to themselves or their cattle. On the whole, however, his visits brought good luck, and the family prospered, till the landlord put them out of their farm, and they never saw the Fear Dearg more.

References

  • Yeats, W. B. (ed.) Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry. 1888.
  • Thomas Keightleythe Fairy Mythology. 1850