The story so far – The fairies were isolated on the islands of Deenish and Scariff, near Derrynane on the Kenmare Estuary in County Kerry:
After much discussion between the elder fairies and younger folk there was sadly no agreement on a united plan of action to escape from the islands. Separate groups emerged and they formed island clans, such as the Derrie’s and the Quin’s.
Transportation problems were the main cause for concern and the main question was:
‘How will we get us away from here – we have no wood to build a boat or other building materials.’
The islands were a desperately difficult place to escape from – so how could the fairies make their escape? Being marooned here had also made everyone a little bit crazy. Fights started.
Finding an escape boat was foremost in everyone’s minds so they all got to work.
The ‘Derrie‘ fairy clan were traditional in their ways and believed that solid materials were the best solution for building needs. On the other hand, the Quin clan had been following more modern lightweight methods for building – with much success. Other groups had still to make up their minds. (By the way, the Derrie’s still call Quin’s ‘Lightweights’).
So what happened next? The Derrie’s decided to follow current trends in the area. The island of Skellig Michael nearby had a thriving community of monks living in beehive huts made of stones. They decided that they could build a boat in a similar fashion to the beehives and make their escape to the mainland….
They did – but what a journey they had to endure…
The suffering of Derrie fairies was gigantic. Not alone had the building of the stone ship been a back breaking task, the voyage itself was full of danger (we will recount this epic voyage on another day). When they arrived on the mainland, many had already perished – mostly because of horrendous storm that had whipped the seas into an angry furnace.
This picture shows the Derrie stone ship shortly after arrival at Derrynane Bay (so named after the Derrie Clan)
When the Derrie fairies made their way onshore, they left behind a legacy that can still be seen to this day – a ship made of stone! Every hundred years since then, the ship has changed its appearance and you can see it today on the road to Lambs Head near Caherdaniel.