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The Flaggy Shore

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0615, Page 245
Image and data © National Folklore Collection, UCD
Ballyvaughan N.S
There is a special spot in New Quay. It has derived its name from the vast number of enormous rocks which are still to be seen near the shore. The following story is told about this special spot :-
Once upon a time the devil came into Clare. He had nearly all the people of Clare under his control, but the people of New Quay resolved he would never enter. The devil came along one morning holding his little son by the hand. The people of New Quay were well prepaired (sic) for him, so the fight started. They flung stones at one another, but luckily enough the devils little son wasn’t able to fire the stones far enough, and the stones and flags were all in the same spot. This special spot has the honour of being called FlaggyShore.
Tradition tells us that once upon a time St Bridget was going to church. As she was near Bellharbour, the thunder rolled and the lightning flashed, and the rain poured. St Bridget prayed to God for some shelter and that very moment a huge tree sprang up yb the power of God. Bridget prayed that any poor person who would go that way would have shelter. This bush is now called Sgeach Brighid.
It is said the banshee is one of the fallen angels who died without being baptised, and is therefore sent to this world to get penance and forgiveness. It is said there is a special room in Skeretts house and the door was never opened, the banshee is supposed to live in this room. It is said the banshee makes it her headquarters and always lived there when she was not occupied screeching around other dwellings as her calling requires. She always sleeps in the room and no one ever dared to disturb her.The floor is supposed to be covered all over a foot high with the dried leaves which blow in from the tress (sic) through the little round openings which represent windows. Sometimes she represents an owl a cat and very often a bat flying through the window in the twilight. She always cries most dismally before the death of a Kerins, Skettett, Traynor, Mac or O.
Collected by Caitlín Ní Fhathaigh, age14 from Michael Wall, age 86
Finavarra Demesne, Co. Clare

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The Long Black Hand

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0036, Page 0210

The long black hand

National Folklore Collection, UCD.
From Ardrahan, Co. Galway
Teacher: Tomas S. O Meadhra
Collector: Cahal Kelly from Michael Kelly, Ardrahan.
There was a certain old witch in Kinvara and she lived under a big tree with five branches out of it. Every night at ten o’clock she used to come out on the road and every one that would pass she would kill them. There was one brave man in Ballindereen named Blake and this night there was a great banquet in Clough. The people of the place told Mr. Blake that there was a ghost in the place and he would not believe it. He sent a soldier named Hynes to see if this was true. They gave him three sheaves of oats by which he would know if the ghost was there. The man with the sheaves of oats ran on around the grave three times and the third time she hit him with the lid of a churn. The man went from the place about three miles and the long black hand gripped to the horses mane. He drew his sword and cut the hand up near the shoulder. A voice said ‘Hit again. You have enough and keep it.’ He went home and told them but they would not believe him. He told them to go out and see the long black hand on the horse’s mane and they did and found the horse dead.

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Galway Election Petition – 1872

Eye to eye
Eye to eye c. EO’D

Nenagh Guardian 24th April, 1872 p.4
At the hearing of the Galway election petition on Saturday, evidence was given as to altar addresses by the Rev.Mr. Forde in Kinvara Chapel. He said those who voted for Trench would be regarded as soupers and renegades. Mr Constantine Sloper, and Mr Tully, Solicitor, deposed to a conversation in a confectionary establishment on Thursday last, in which Father Loftus, in presence of several persons, said that it there was another election the priest would hunt the landlords and their followers before them like chaff.
Evidence then was given as to treating.

One publican in Galway deposed to giving drink and entertainment to voters on the day of the nomination, and again on the polling day, by order of two persons interested for Captain Nolan. On the last occasion he gave dinner to 137 electors, and gave drink to others. In the course of the day Judge Keogh stated that, subjet to what might be said on the other side, he held it proved that Father Loftus was an agent of Captain Nolan’s. Evidence as to looking at people going to chapels and the destruction of pews, was given. The petitioner’s case has closed.

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Three Galway Playwrights

Three Galway Playwrights.
Irish Travel, Official organ of the Irish Tourist Association Vol. XII. No. 4 January, 1937 p. 85
Galway has given three great figures to the Irish literary revival – Lady Gregory, Seamus O’Kelly and Edward Martyn.

Seamus O’Kelly was born in Loughrea in 1881 and educated at St. Brendan’s College there. Later he was a journalist in Skibbereen and Naas, afterwards coming to Dublin, where he wrote some successful plays which were
produced by the Abbey Theatre Company, then in its infancy. O’Kelly is better known by his stories than by his plays. His two best-known novels are
“Waysiders” and” The Lady of Deer Park.” He was connected with the Sinn Fein movement and for some time edited its official organ, “Nationalist.”
He died in Dublin on the 11th November, 1918, the day the Great War ended.

Edward Martyn was also closely connected with the Abbey Theatre, being one of its founders. Born at Masonbrooke, Galway, in 1859, he was educated in Dublin and Oxford. He wrote much, his best known works being “Maeve,” “The Heatherfield,” etc. He was keenly interested in church music and the revival of the Irish language, and was associated with Arthur Griffith in the early days of Sinn Fein. He was President of that organisation from 1904 to 1908. When Sinn Fein became Republican after 1916 Martyn seems to have faded out of the picture. He died in 1923 and left his body for dissection.

Lady Gregory, another founder of the Abbey theatre, was born at Roxborough, Co. Galway. Her best known works are “Gods and Fighting Men,” “A Book of Saints and Wonders,” “Our Irish Theatre,” “Hugh Lane’s Life and Achievement,” “Some Short Plays,” “New Comedies” and “Some Irish Folk-History Plays.”

Other Galway writers of note are John McNevin, author of the “Irish Volunteers”; Dr. James McNevin, the United Irishman, author of “Pieces of Irish History”;, M.D. Bodkin, the novelist; Miss Violet Martin, novelist; Fances Carey, best of the English translators or Dante; and John William Curran, the noted political writer.