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After a ten year run of bad luck, an Irish farmer was advised by University College Cork to contact druids to perform a ceremony. Source: heywoody / Adobe Stock

Cursed Irish Farmer Calls in The Druids


A Cork farmer has employed the services of druids to end his decade of bad luck after a bull damaged an ancient standing stone on his land. The Irish farmer, Donal Bohane, owns a 30-acre (12.1 ha.) farm in the townland of Coolnagarrane in County Cork. He claims he has suffered a string of years of “bad luck” having lost fields to floods, costing him thousands in revenue, and many of his cattle have died from a variety of infections. The fact that Mr. Bohane believes in luck, like many of us might, determines he’s prone to non-scientific supernatural thinking, and it comes as almost no surprise that he employed Dutch druids living in Kerry to change his fortune.

Moving Standing Stone Causes a String of Bad Luck

Superstitions can entirely change the way we perceive, and interact with, reality. While some will risk their lives stepping onto roads to avoid passing beneath ladders, others touch wood when they think they’ve “tempted fate”. Superstitions generally rise from fear of the unknown or an unjustified trust in magic that leads to irrational abject attitudes towards the way nature works, in which the supernatural is used to rationalize the superstition.

Druids belonged to a high-ranking social class within ancient Celtic European cultures and served communities as religious leaders, legal authorities, adjudicators, storytellers, medics and advisors to leaders. The reason druids were called to work in Ireland is because Mr. Bohane claims the only thing that has changed on his farm was the location of an ancient one-tonne (2,204 ib) boundary marker.

An article in the Irish Examiner helps along the cursed-stone narrative by throwing in that perhaps the standing stone marked a sacred place, such as “a place of worship or a burial ground.” Whatever the old stone originally represented, Mr. Bohane claims that ever since it was knocked over by a bull ten years ago he’s had “a string of bad luck.”

After a decade of bad luck, an Irish farmer contacted University College Cork to ask for help. Their advice was to employ the services of druids Jan and Karren Tetteroo, seen here. (Valerie O’Sullivan / Grove of Anu)

After a decade of bad luck, an Irish farmer contacted a folklorist to ask for help, who put him in touch with druids Jan and Karren Tetteroo, seen here, who were willing to offer their services (Valerie O’Sullivan / Grove of Anu)

Farmer Turns to Modern Druids for Answers

​After the bull tipped the ancient stone the Irish farmer contacted a folklorist at the University College Cork to find out more about folklore around luck. According to the folklore expert, Dr. Jenny Butler, Mr Bohane inquired about “a possible ritual that might help him” and so she put him in touch with druids Jan and Karren Tetteroo.

Mr. and Mrs. Tetteroo are a colorful pair who earlier this year announced a new festival aimed at “shortening the winter with a spectacular opening equinox parade through the streets of Killarney,” explains an article in the Killarney Advertiser . A fortnight ago, the pair turned up at Mr. Bohane’s farm and “performed a two-hour ceremony before the stone was replaced with the help of a digger.”

Druids Spiritual Respect

The druid ceremony required communications with inhabitants of the perceived spiritual world. The pair told the Irish Examiner that they “addressed the unseen people who live in the fort and said what we were going to do.” You’d have thought seeking permission from the ghosts of the nearby fort would have done the job nicely, but to make sure, they used water from their self-appointed “holy well.”

Pomponius Mela was the first author to record that druid teaching and instruction was “secret and took place in caves and forests.” Druidic lore consisted of a large number of verses learned by heart and Julius Caesar remarked that “it could take up to twenty years to complete the course of study.” A pretty serious discipline.

Returning to modern Ireland, what kind of training did Jan and Karren Tetteroo undergo to communicate with supernatural spirits and to activate the holy powers of blessed water? The couple run the website Grove of Anú, on which they claim to be druids of “the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids” serving the Irish community.

Top image: After a ten year run of bad luck, an Irish farmer contacted druids who performed a ceremony.   Source: heywoody / Adobe Stock

Editors Note: This article was updated on 12-11-2020 to better reflect the nature of the discussion between Mr Bohane and Dr Butler.

By Ashley Cowie



Interesting article, nice read.  So how did it all turn out? That’s the crux of it; did the re-erection & blessing of the standing stone improve the farmer's situation? If it didn’t then of course there's a more 'worldly’ solution to the farmer’s bad luck.

Interesting article, nice read.  So how did it all turn out? That’s the crux of it; did the re-erection & blessing of the standing stone improve the farmer's situation? If it didn’t then of course there's a more 'worldly’ solution to the farmer’s bad luck.

Interesting article, nice read.  So how did it all turn out? That’s the crux of it; did the re-erection & blessing of the standing stone improve the farmer's situation? If it didn’t then of course there's a more 'worldly’ solution to the farmer’s bad luck.

Ana Massien's picture

Given the distance to the ocean in his land, it could be his dirt. Water erosion from the ocean in many farming villages can dry out, turn to a crumbling clay appearance and will not wield a good crop. Rural Ireland is ripe with ideas of the supernatural, and while druids can't hurt, it's definately science related here. But because many farmers know about crops and not about land itself or how to have better dirt/soil, the idea of saving the crop is about looking at getting new soil, but its expensive. They may not have new soil to get, may have to build the farm elsewhere. These are lands with a history, may have to choose between history and moving to make a profit. Well Uncles and aunts I am moving. Heh.

There is nothing  wrong with aspects of Druidry, however the org itself has been under watch a long time thanks to Bonewits himself. There is a time in a elder pagan's life when belief in the fae and so on diminish as is written or spoken of because you may just know better by that time. If luck or supernatural lores and beings exist its because people want a break from the hard life these places have endured. I believe in the Faery because I am Faery because I have the sight, dream true things and draw true things that come true.

Science and Magick don't coexist very well, true, but that is because Magick is in the heart and eye and mind of the beholder. Science is a book held in the hand.

No Joke, I have seen magick manifested physically. I have had more than one experience while magick saved my life. I can understand your skeptic look at the idea of an old standing stone disrupted is not the cause of the crops and cattle dying and going poorly. However, too the Irish people they have slighted the land and want to make it right. I would say look at the dirt. If the cattle ate the grass coming out of this dirt then well he probably poisoned them without knowing it. This kind of dirt can poison fertilizer and the feed too.

(Crop Rot) I mean look at the potato famine for instance, same country.

Then there is this, the age old question: Was he on drugs? Drugs can manipulate logic in a person’s brain thus turning the supernatural world even more horrible.

I am curious to know if the Druids’ work helped however.

Hi Ashley,

you know it might not be a great idea to mock ones beliefs whether Supernatural are not like the case of the Irish Farmer besides don't you think Ireland had enough of that from The Invading British?

It hasn't been established in the article how come he felt cursed because of this rock on his land.

Find out what that the rock represented in Irish History to this Irish Farmer and we'll have a better understanding of why the Irish Farmer felt that He was so Cursed.

So maybe He doesn't believe in Science the Irish man but he's coming from an a perspective that has No room for science due to the fact much of science operates on the bases of logical Common Sense.

Whereas; Blessings and Curses follows the principle the Realm of Possibility where logical Common sense doesn't exist.

To the farmer the belief that he's been cursed do to a Specific Rock on his land is as Real to Him as Breathing attempting to separate Him from that Idea would be useless The Irish Farmer is who He is trying to change him to fit with our perspective would be wrong because where denying him his Free Will on how He believes.

That Irish Farmer Ashley by the way isn't the only person who believes in Curses Peoples and Cultures from a variety of places around the Globe believes in Curses.

The Bible teaches about Blessings and Curses all throughout the Scriptures.

In Genesis humankind inherited the genetic trait of Sin from Dad & Mom (Adam & Eve) in the church we're taught being born with the Curse of Sin is what separates us from God.

When one believes in Christ Jesus who gave his life for Our Sins on the Cross then where blessed with the Hope that when He comes again He's essentially taking Us Home with Him this is what every Christian awaits for is the Second Coming of Christ.

Then there was the Curse God placed on Cain; after He unjustly murdered His brother Abel. Since Cain was a Farmer God cursed the ground on which He stood forcing him to be wandering vagabond making sure Cain never went around Adam and Eve again (I didn't catch on to this concept till six months ago but God took that decisive action because what was too stop Cain from killing his Parent's).

Then came Abraham in Genesis chapter 11; where God establishes and Oral Covenant with The Patriarch Abram

"I will Bless those who Bless You; and Curse those who Curse you and through you All the Nation's will be Blessed." Meaning Judaism, Christianity, an Islam.

The Bible establishes who exactly holds in their hands Blessings and Curses The Holy Trinity.

Other places may not rely on God and The Bible; but, on the Faith of their ancestors who came before them like that Irish Farmer resulting that He believes in The Faith of The Druids and that they are capable of Cleansing His Farm, so why mock him for it?

Thanks for sharing the article well until next time Ashley Goodbye!

ashley cowie's picture


Ashley is a Scottish historian, author, and documentary filmmaker presenting original perspectives on historical problems in accessible and exciting ways.

He was raised in Wick, a small fishing village in the county of Caithness on the north east coast of... Read More

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