Posted in Posts and podcasts

A warmer cell – 1888

Alabama Enquirer And Morgan County News
Date: January 26 1888 p2

Wilfred Blunt has been moved to a warmer cell in the Galway prison, and his overcoat has been returned to him. A band tried to serenade him, but was prevented by the police. Mr. Blunt says that while staying at a country hotel in the south of England last September, he met Mr. Balfour, who made the statement that he intended to imprison six of the physically weakest of the Parnellites, adding: “I shall be sorry for Mr. Dillion, as he has some good about him. He will have six months, and as he had bad health he will die in prison.” In response to an inquiry, Mr. Balfour said: “The history is a ridiculous lie. I do not believe that Mr. Blunt ever made the assertion attributed to him.”

Posted in Posts and podcasts

The Banshee – 1888

Irish Examiner 15th December, 1888 p5

The Burren and beyond Photo: EO'D
The Burren and beyond
Photo: EO’D

Once I saw a banshee. It was many years ago. During the summer months the twilight is very long and late one afternoon, when the sun had gone down, I happened to walk over to the farm of M.B. Well, as we stood and talked, my friend suddenly said;
“Mike, do you want to see a banshee?”
Of course I did and looked where he pointed. Sure enough, there in the lane, creeping along near the hedge, was a wee bit of a thing, no more than three feet high. It looked like a young girl, only its hair, which was long and yellow, fell down its back clear to the ground, and as it crept along it whimpered and moaned just like a child in pain. My friend looked very grave, saying;
“That’s a family banshee, and I’m afraid some of my relations are going to be sick.”
Pretty soon after a neighbour came riding up and told my friend to make haste as his mother had been taken very ill.
The next day I learned that the poor woman had died before her son reached her.
The banshees are queer things, and they never let anyone come near them. Another man I knew came across one sitting in a corn field, near the fence. When he suddenly appeared it ran out of sight among the corn, but it dropped its comb from its yellow hair and the man picked it up and put it in his pocket. That night the banshee came near the house and whined so piteously that the man dropped the comb out of the window. The banshee then left, and when a search was made the next morning it was found that the comb had disappeared too.

Posted in Posts and podcasts

Up Ballinderreen! – 1888

New Zealand Tablet 10th February, 1888 p9tyrone house

Over 200 men from the parish of Ballinderreen assembled at Kilcolgan to build a house for Redmond Grealy, an evicted tenant, Grealy was evicted in 1883 by William St. George, Tyrone House, his landlord. Since his eviction Grealy has made a long and stubborn fight to keep a grip of his homestead. For retaking possession he has been summoned frequently, heavily fined, sent twice to gaol and his wife three times to gaol.

On their return home from Galway Gaol, Grealy and his wife were met by over 200 men, who escorted them and installed them in the house they had built.

Posted in Posts and podcasts

Rent Reduction Kinvarra, Ballinderreen, Ardrahan – 1888

The Irish Canadian 6th December, 1888 p3

Dunguaire Photo: c.  Norma Scheibe
Photo: c. Norma Scheibe

Some of the landlords in the vicinity of Kinvarra have given very substantial rent abatements. Col. Llewelyn Blake, Northampton House, Kinvarra, and Cloughballymore, Ballindereen, has allowed his tenants on both properties the same reductions as he gave last year, viz. 25 per cent off the reduced rent or 50 per cent off the old rent.

Edward J. Murphy Esq, Tullyra Castle Ardrahan, has also allowed his tenants an abatement of 25 per cent off the reduced rents.

Posted in Posts and podcasts

The Merrow – 1888

Mermaid and Merman - Anon - 1866 New York Public Library
Anon – 1866
New York Public Library
Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry, edited and selected by W.B.Yeats
Walter Scott, London, New York (1888)
THE MERROW (abridged)

The Merrow, or Moruadh/Murrúghach, comes from muir, sea, and oigh, a maid, and is common, they say, on the wilder coasts of Ireland. The fishermen do not like to see them, for it always means coming gales. The male Merrows have green teeth, green hair, pig’s eyes, and red noses; but their women are beautiful, for all their fish tails and the little duck-like scale between their fingers.
Sometimes they prefer, small blame to them, good-looking fishermen to their sea lovers. Near Bantry, in the last century, there is said to have been a woman covered all over with scales like a fish, who was descended from such a marriage. Sometimes they come out of the sea, and wander about the shore in the shape of little hornless cows. They have, when in their own shape, a red cap, called a cohullen druith, usually covered with feathers. If this is stolen, they cannot again go down under the waves.