Thanks to the Town Center Experience fund from Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council the Ballycastle Community Development Group, Ballycastle Chamber of Commerce and Naturally North Coast and Glens C.I.C. worked together to bring the character of Princess Taisie to life to bring some happiness, fun, inspiration to Ballycastle and help tell the stories of our local history.
Paul Kerrigan Chair of the Ballycastle Community Development Group said “As someone who is interested in local history and fascinated in the story and mythology around the legend of Princess Taisie, it’s fantastic to see her being brought to life. We see this as a great investment for the wider community and hope to see Taisie attending many events throughout the glens.
Brian Mc Lister President of the Ballycastle Chamber of Commerce said “This is a fantastic project that will bring animation not just to the festival but throughout the year in the town. We look forward to welcoming Princess Taisie visiting into our local businesses over the course of the next few months”
Shauna Mc Fall of Naturally North Coast & Glens said “This has been an exciting project to work on, and we are looking forward to introducing Princess Taisie to everyone at our artisan markets throughout the year. We are also looking forward to engaging with the wider community to tell the story of Taisie as she travels with us across the North Antrim Coast”.
We worked with Mascots Inc to help create the Princess Taisie Mascot, you can see some of the design work involved in brining this fantastic character to live below.
About Princess Taisie
The nine glens of Antrim, one of which is the lesser known Glentaisie is steeped in folklore, history and mythology. The name stems from Princess Taisie -“of exceeding great beauty” Legend tells us that Princess Taisie was betrothed to Conghal, son of Conor, by her father Donn, King of Rathlin. Nabgodon, King of Norway, had lost his wife and was looking for another when he was told of “a damsel of imperious beauty, “the most youthful and fairest of all the daughters of Adam, bright-eyed, with curling hair, melodious voice and pleasant speech. A perfect woman and of royal blood”” who was spotted on the shore of Rathlin Island. Nabgodon came with an army to capture Taisie and arrived during her wedding celebrations to Conghal. After a battle, Nabgodon was killed by Conghal. After the rejoicings over the defeat of Nabgodon and once all the warriors had healed, Donn, King of Rathlin built the dun of Taisi at Broomore in Glentaisie as Taisie’s dowry. And they all lived happily ever after… or so the story goes..... Ballycastle and Rathlin Island has a wealth of history, heritage and legend. The legend of Taisie has strong connections to both Ballycastle and Rathlin Island, making the Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival the perfect event to come and meet the princess.
The Taise banner was one of nine carried in the first Glens Feis (Feis na nGLeann) in 1904. John Campbell (Seaghan MacCathmhaoil), a talented artist, designed all nine banners to be carried at the feis. Each one represented one of the Nine Glens of Antrim: Glenarm, Glencloy, Glenarrif, Glenballyeamon, Glenann, Glencorp, Glendun, Glenshesk and Glentaisie. The Taisie banner was painted by William McMullan from Culfeightrin. It is thought to be the only remaining one of the nine made.
You can view the original banner located in Ballycastle Museum, Castle Street, during April, May, June & September: Friday & Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday 2-5pm, July &; August: Monday- Saturday 10am-6pm and Sunday 2-6pm.
Artist Friz more recently created a fantastic piece of wall art of Princess Taisie in Ballycastle. He imagined Taise relaxing in the glen where the men had spied her as she listened to her ladies playing music and based his design off the Taise Banner. We’d like to thank Friz for also inspiring us with his own interpretation of Princess Taisie from the original Banner. You can find Friz’s artwork prominently located on the side of Noel's Pound Corner at the entrance to Glentaisie Drive in Ballycastle.
Hopefully you'll be lucky enough to meet Princess Taisie during one of your visits to ballycastle or to the market at Ballycastle. If you do, make sure to take a picutre of yourself with Princess Taisie!