Clare storyteller and friend of the fairies, Eddie Lenihan, has warned bad things will happen at the West Pharmaceutical Services factory in Waterford, if an ancient fairy fort is destroyed as part of the construction process.
The Crusheen man has written to the American company behind the factory, warning them that ill luck will follow all those involved in clearing the fairy fort — saying it is a question of when and not if, the fairies will decide to take their revenge.
The factory is currently under construction at Knockhouse in Waterford and is set to deliver more than 150 jobs to the locality when finished in 2018.
However, there were delays when local construction workers refused to remove a fairy fort — with workers set to be drafted in from elsewhere to demolish the fort and complete the construction of the factory.
“I am no campaigner, I just like to see things respected. I said to them [West Pharmaceutical Services], in that letter, that if that factory is built, and I hope the factory is built on another location because Waterford needs the jobs, but if it is built there, wait and see what happens.
“It’s not a matter of if it will close but when it will close. People will think you are a crank if you say something like this and there will be much laughter.
“I’d like it to be on the record anyway so that people can look back when something happens and see that they [the owners] were warned and didn’t pay attention.
“It will be more than bad luck, there are stories after stories of it. I’d be the first to be skeptical, I’m not one of those people who believes everything they hear. I’ve been collecting folklore for 40 years and a lot of the stories are bunkum, but not all... You can have one coincidence or two coincidences... but after awhile you realise that it can’t be a coincidence.”
The tri-vallate ring fort, estimated to be thousands of years old, is set to be cleared as part of the second phase of the factory’s construction.
A local group in Waterford is campaigning for the fort to be preserved and maintained as a tourist attraction inside the main factory building.