Posted in Posts and podcasts

Tír na nÓg, the Burren

Burren sunrise Photo: EO’D

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0047, Page 0159
National Folklore Collection, UCD.
Gort N.S.
In the mountains of Burren in the county Clare, about ten miles from here, there is a place called the Caves of Cill Corney. There are large caves and undermines (sic) there. Something over a hundred years ago, horses and foals used come out of them caves and graze the peoples land and cornfields. The neighbours made up their minds to catch the horses. The horses passed them by like the wind and they caught one mare’s foal at the mouth of the cave. They took the foal home and kept him in a dark stable for one year, until he was fit for training. He trained very quiet and did every sort of work. Every Saturday at twelve he would get out of work and no man could put him to work after that. His breed is still to be found and how you would know his breed is that every one has a whisker on the upper lip.

Sometimes when floods rise very high the water floods up on this cave and spreads round like a bowl. Some old people called it Tír na nÓg.

One time an old woman wanted to make a cake. The water was very low at the time. She took some of the water and made the cake. She put the cake baking on a griddle. Before the cake was baked, the flour dried on the griddle as it was on the bog. She went back to the pond and found it was gone down.
Within the present generation with the past ten years. One man experimented on the water as it was going down. He took home some of the water and made a cake also and baked it on a griddle. Before the cake was baked the flour dried on the griddle as it was on the bog. About forty or fifty years ago.

Posted in Posts and podcasts

The Old Mills

By Thoor Ballylee
Photo: EO'D
Thoor Ballylee Photo: EO’D

The Old Mills
Kiltartan N.S.
The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0047, Page 0111
National Folklore Collection, UCD. c.1938
The Gort river which goes underground at “Poll Tuaithbheall” in Castletown worked four mills in and around Gort, one at Cannahown (1/2 mile to the South of the town, now derelict, one in Gort (Hynes’s, still working) one at Kinineha 1/2 mile to the N.East of the town (now derelict) and a fourth at Ballinamanton 1/4 mile farther on (derelict)
Of rootcrops the principal kinds sown are turnips, mangolds, parsnips and beet. Turnips and mangolds are given as food to cattle and sheep. During the hard dry weather in spring and early summer sheep, and especially ewes, are fed on mangolds. Parsnips are grown only in small quantities for table use. Beet is sent away by Rail to the Beet Factory in Tuam. A Beet Train for Tuam leaves the Gort Station every night about 10.30pm, for about eight weeks before Christmas.
The land is suitable for potatoes also. Any surplus potatoes are disposed of in the Gort marked every Saturday.

Posted in Posts and podcasts

Christmas in Clare

Road to Corofin Photo: EO’D

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0597, Page 505. Collected by Michael Custy from James Custy. (abridged). Meelick N.S.
National Folklore Collection, UCD
On Christmas Eve night all the Catholic people light a candle or Christmas candle. The leave the candle lighting all night and they quench it in the morning. On Christmas night some of the people do not lock the door because the Holy Family were looking for shelter on that night
All the people put up holly and ivy on Christmas Eve. The put a little branch of holly and ivy at the sides of every picture. Sometimes people get leaves of holly and ivy and put a twine through them all Then they nail the twine to the window in the form of a cross. The reason for putting up holly and ivy is, on the walls of the stable in which Our Lord was born there were holly and ivy growing. So when people see holly and ivy on the walls, it reminds them of the birth of Our Lord. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Night there is a big candle lighting on the kitchen window. It is to be lit by the eldest son of the family

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The Stone in Clare

Collected by Peggy Moran, Ballinderreen N.S. from Mrs Mannin (aged 67) 1938
The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0033B, Page 04_031
National Folklore Collection, UCD.

There was once a stone in Clare, and every night, there used be a candle lighting on it. If anybody saw that candle lighting after sunset they would be dead next morning. It happened when St Patrick came to Ireland that he heard of the stone. One night He went and took lodging at the house nearst the stone. When he saw the man of the house locking the doors and bolting the windows he asked him what was the idea of doing that. Then he told St Patrick about the stone. The Saint said open thye windows and doors and come with me, to see the stone.
The man was afraid, because if he looked at the candle he would be dead next evening
St Patrick said not to fear while he was with him. Then the Saint put on his Stole and said prayers near the stone. He struck it with his Stole and broke it in two halves. A black bird flew out. He struck the blackbird with the Stole and it fell dead. It fell into the water which was near the stone. Saint Patrick turned it into wine because it was turned into blood at first when the bird fell into it. The man said if he left the water in wine people would be coming from all parts of Ireland and get drunk. At that moment it was changed into water. Ever since it is called Lough Ruadh or the Red Lake.