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The name for Holly in the Irish language is Cuileann. In Christian folklore Holly is associated with being a ‘Holy’ plant. Irish homes in times past were decorated with its branches at Christmas as the prickly leaves symbolized Christ’s crown of thorns and its bright red winter berries the drops of blood that he shed during his crucifixion.

Here at Derryhick Sticks I like making Holly sticks. Even though it presents many challenges including difficulty in retaining the bark it is well worthwhile persevering with the species as the end result is invariably a stick with charm and character.

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