Thanks for the above, TCJ, most interesting. Stoker was, of course, Irish, and so must have been aware of such folklore, one would have imagined, and transferred such influences into his writing.
I know very little about Bram Stoker's life, save for the basic biographical details, and although I did a "Gothic Novel" option as part of my English degree, it was so long ago, and I remember little about it, and it was only recently that I read Dracula
for pleasure, and I thought it was an excellent novel, with some wonderfully vivid writing, in the early Jonathan Harker in Transylvania sections in particular. Also, being interested in the process of writing, it's a superb example of an epistolatory novel.
Anyway, this is only from Wikipedia, but with regard to Stoker's influences when writing the book, it has this to say.
Before writing Dracula, Stoker spent seven years researching European folklore and stories of vampires, being most influenced by Emily Gerard's 1885 essay "Transylvania Superstitions".http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dracula
Despite being the most well-known vampire novel, Dracula was not the first. It was preceded and partly inspired by Sheridan Le Fanu's 1871 "Carmilla", about a lesbian vampire who preys on a lonely young woman, and by Varney the Vampire, a lengthy penny dreadful serial from the mid-Victorian period by James Malcolm Rymer. The image of a vampire portrayed as an aristocratic man, like the character of Dracula, was created by John Polidori in "The Vampyre" (1819), during the summer spent with Frankenstein creator Mary Shelley, her husband, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron in 1816. The Lyceum Theatre, where Stoker worked between 1878 and 1898, was headed by the actor-manager Henry Irving, who was Stoker's real-life inspiration for Dracula's mannerisms and who Stoker hoped would play Dracula in a stage version. Although Irving never did agree to do a stage version, Dracula's dramatic sweeping gestures and gentlemanly mannerisms drew their living embodiment from Irving.
The Dead Un-Dead was one of Stoker's original titles for Dracula, and up until a few weeks before publication, the manuscript was titled simply The Un-Dead. Stoker's Notes for Dracula show that the name of the count was originally "Count Wampyr", but while doing research, Stoker became intrigued by the name "Dracula", after reading William Wilkinson's book Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia with Political Observations Relative to Them (London 1820) which he found in the Whitby Library, and consulted a number of times during visits to Whitby in the 1890s. The name Dracula was the patronym (Drăculea) of the descendants of Vlad II of Wallachia, who took the name "Dracul" after being invested in the Order of the Dragon in 1431. In the Romanian language, the word dracul (Romanian drac "dragon" + -ul "the") can mean either "the dragon" or, especially in the present day, "the devil".
This is another Stoker snippet, from Wiki's page on Vlad the Impaler, another inspiration.
The connection of the name "Dracula" with vampirism was made by Bram Stoker, who probably found the name of his Count Dracula character in William Wilkinson's book, An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia: with various Political Observations Relating to Them. It is known that Stoker made notes about this book. It is also suggested that Stoker may have heard of Vlad through his friend, Hungarian professor Ármin Vámbéry, from Budapest. The fact that character Dr. Abraham Van Helsing states in the 1897 novel that the source of his knowledge about Count Dracula is his friend Arminius appears to support this hypothesis, although there is no evidence that Stoker and Vambéry (they met twice) ever talked about Wallachian history.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vlad_the_Impaler
Referring to a letter from his friend Arminius, van Helsing comments:
He must, indeed, have been that Voivode Dracula who won his name against the Turk, over the great river on the very frontier of Turkey-land. (Chapter 18, pp 145)
This encourages the reader to identify the Vampire Count with the Voivode Dracula first mentioned by him, the one betrayed by his own brother: Vlad III Dracula betrayed by his brother Radu the Handsome. But as noted by the Dutch author Hans Corneel de Roos, in Chapter 25, Van Helsing and Mina drop this rudimentary connection and instead describe the Count's personal past as that of "that other of his race" who lived "in a later age". This way, Stoker avoided that his main character could be unambiguously linked to a historical person who could be traced in any history book.
Based on those very brief overviews, it would seem that any Irish influence on his story might have been missed, although it may well be the case that it is covered in more detailed writings about Stoker's life and work. Very interesting possible connection in any case, and interesting in its own right, anyway.
It seems that myths about the undead are quite universal, and touch upon many and various cultures, but the bloodletting and vampiric angle was more of an East European influence, much of it drawn from the story of Vlad, and merged together for the purposes of Stoker's novel; something that went on to have an enormous impact on the popular culture of the future, as all the many books and films on the subject attest. But as I said above, the 1897 source material in the form of the original novel, I really do rate very highly indeed as a piece of writing, and as an exercise in storytelling.