“The knowledge of a raven’s head” – Celtic language T-Shirts from Mireog, Ring, Waterford


I recently came across Mireog, a company based in Ring, Co Waterford . I first came across their T-shirts  but they have a whole range of products.

More info on Mireog:

 Mireog is run by illustrator Shona Shirley Macdonald and artist and educator Ciaran O Nuallain. We design and handprint our products in our studio in Ring, Co. Waterford, and our greeting cards are digitally printed in Ireland.
Living in the Gaeltacht we started up Mireog with the aim of promoting the Irish language by creating unique designs in Irish and other Celtic languages, much inspired by folklore, the natural environment, and also the language itself.
Running a sustainable and environmentally friendly business is also very important to us, and so we print onto organic cotton EarthPositive t-shirts, manufactured solely using sustainable energy. Our tea towels are Fairtrade organic cotton, and our notebooks are made in Ireland from 100% recycled paper.

I can vouch that their T-shirts are also very comfy! I was particularly drawn to this raven design:


There is a red version on the Mireog page, and my T-shirt is grey (my phone is recalcitrant in not charging, so I can’t inflict my own photos on you) Here is the explanation of the words from the website:

This raven design includes the Scottish Gaelic saying ‘Tha fios fithich agad’ and the Irish translation ‘Fios cionn fiagh’, which means, ‘you have the knowledge of a raven’s head’ or just ‘the knowledge of a raven’s head’.

The t-shirt comes in a handsome box cardboard box with a bit more info:


This raven design includes the Scottish Gaelic saying ‘Tha fios fithich agad’ and a simiilar Irish version,  ‘Fios cionn fiagh’, meaning, just ‘the knowledge of a raven’s head’.

The raven is known for its intelligence, and across cultures features heavily in myth and folklore. There is a tale from the Scottish Hebrides that to give a child its first drink from the skull of a raven grants the child the gift of wisdom and prophecy. In Celtic and Norse myth ravens are associated with many deities, including The Irish Triple Goddess, the Morrigan who could turn into a raven, as well as The Cailleach, ‘Hag of Winter”, from Scottish folklore. Odin was also said to have had two ravens Huginn and Muninn, who brought him news of Midgard.

However the raven is also associated with battle and death, as they eat carrion and would have been a common sight on a desolate battle ground. This has earned them their sinister reputation and mythic status, as prophetic messengers of the other world.

I drew on these varying aspects of raven lore in my story “Lackendarra”  , most of which was set not too far away at all from Ring. Here is a video on the real Lackendarra Jim:

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/88099742″>Lackendarra</a&gt; from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user10104938″>Tom Fitzpatrick</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

A while back I did a post on songs about corvids. Disappointingly, the YouTube link there for the hammy Lou Reed / Willem Defoe version of Poe’s “The Raven” is broken …. but here is another:












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