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Home-made Toys

Collected by Patrick Nolan, Kiltartan N.S.
The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0047, Page 0090
National Folklore Collection, UCD.

Clare’s Doll House
Photo: EO’D

A Fob Gun

Nowadays toy guns, made in Germany or Japan can be bought for a penny. Long ago boys made their own guns. This is how they did it.
First they got a piece of an elder tree. Then they would redden a piece of an iron and bore a hole through it. Then a piece of wet paper was got to act as a bullet. This was stuffed into one end of the gun. Next a stick was got to fit the hold. Another ‘bullet’ was inserted into the other end of the gun, and everything was ready.
The stick was then pushed through the bore of the gun. The force of the air through the gun would make a shot.

Spinning Tops
These were made by the boys themselves long ago. An empty thread spool was pared and shaped like a top. The hole through the centre of the spool was then filled with a piece of timber, and a nail (from which the head was removed) was then driven into the pointed end of the top. The top could be made spin by twisting several coils of twine around it.

Posted in Posts and podcasts


The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0050, Page 0147
Image and data © National Folklore Collection, UCD.
Collector: Eileen Kelly, Keanspound, Gort

Garryland Photo: EO’D

This was composed by a local poet who’s name is unknown.
It is about the Loughnane brothers, natives of Shanaglish beyond Gort. They were members of the I.R.A. and they were brutally burned by the English. They were dragged behind two carriers for three miles and they died near Kinvara. Their bodies were then thrown into a pond and were not discovered till ten days afterwards. The Tans that committed this outrage in Nov. 1920 (abridged)

As the winter’s wind blew wild on a cold November’s night,
The sad news reached Kinvara of a mournful tragic sight,

It was the finding of two brothers pale corpses lay side by side,
Far from their loving mother these true hearted brothers died,
They were taken by our enemies while threshing their mother’s corn,
And came back cold corpses to the place where they were born,
They were taken in a lorry by a military escort,
From their native home Shanaglish
Three miles south-west of Gort.
They were dragged behind two carries for three miles and more,
Till the blood gushed from their faces and their bodes bruised and sore,
They were taken to Drimharsin on a clear November’s day,
While the blood gushed from their faces
and their roars were head for miles away.
“What they suffered God only knows.”
Their bodies were brutally burned as they lay upon the ground,
Then left into a pond to prevent them from being found,
For ten long days in this desolate grave unblessed by any priest
Those martyred brothers Loughnanes by God’s aid was released,
To an old house near Kinvara the funeral marched next day,
Under a body guard of I.R.A. who took the remains away.
That day was a sorrowful day for their mother,
To see the fresh blood oozing from a wound in Harry’s side,
Poor Padraigh’s flesh was torn, o’er his eyes were boiled within,
There was nothing left to recognize but a nose and half a chin,
His brothers bones lay visible as cold corpses they did lie,
Their bodies they were coffined and wrapped in brown and white,
And left into the Church of God where they rested that night.
The following day was a mournful sight for the mother of the brave,
To see her darling boys going to the bosom of the clay,
Those brother nursed with tender care are now beneath the sod,
Their spirits are despite their foes today before their God,
In the church yard of Shanaglish those two young heroes lie,
They gave their blood for Ireland and died for you I, (sic)
And gave up all they had on earth and suffered all these pains,
To strike for you anther blow and smash the Saxon chains.
Is there any rebel here amongst you still to repeat those words again,
To thread the path of dauntless men who have suffered without fear or disdain,
But if you be true to England by obeying her Saxon laws,
They you’ll soon forget our men shot down by the cold blooded murderers, the servants of the Crown,
Let this ring throughout land and echo over the main,
That our gallant Loughnane brothers were not sacrificed in vain.

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The Feast of St. Martin

Photo: EO’D

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0620, Page 062
National Folklore Collection, UCD.
Collected by: Séamus Ó Sealbhaigh, Kilfenora N.S. 10/12/1937
The feast of St. Martin falls on the eleventh of November. In parts of Ireland fowl are killed and the blood spilt in different houses, the stable for the horse, in the cowhouse for the cow’s and in the dwelling house. As the belief was that the Saint protects the animals and people. Another belief was that if the blood was soaked in cotton wool and the wool kept safely and applied to affected parts when people got pains. It was supposed to cure them.

Some people also believe that it was not right to roll any sort of wheel’s on that day.