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Lore of olden days – 1937/38

Photo: EO'D
Photo: EO’D

Collected by Kathleen Fallon,Clochar na Trocaire, Kinvara from Patrick Fallon, Carpenter, aged 57
There is not a district in Ireland that has not certain days and dates for different things. On Friday people who wash clothes are supposed to be unlucky for the rest of the day. Friday is cross day round the district of Kinvara. To keep crosses away from them during the day the people when they rise, make the sign of the cross on the door three times.
The farmers say that Friday is a very lucky day to sow seed and if they have not time to sow them on Friday they throw a handful of seed on the ground. It is said that if a person cries on his birthday he will be crying for the year. People say that it is very unlucky for ships to leave the harbour on may day for the sea is rough on that day and storms usually occur on that day.
The farmers have a superstition that it they have not their potatoes sown on the first week of April they will rot, if they are sown after the first week (sic.). People say that Tuesday and Friday are very lucky days for changing to a new house. People say that it a person moves into a new house on Saturday that he will not remain there long.
People say it is very unlucky to go near water during Whit week. When rain occurs on a Friday is is noted that the following Sunday is always wet. It is said that a person suffering from sore feet can be cured on the eight of September and on the fifteenth of August. If fain falls on St. Swithen’s day is is said that the rain will fall for forty days and forty night.

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0049, Page 0147

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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.

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Headache Cure – Killina – 1937

Photo: Norma Scheibe

From Margaret Cavanagh – aged 10
For constant “splitting” headache the people here (Killina) get their heads “measured” by Pat Linane Cappacasheen or by Pat Joynt Poulataggle, to cure them. They do it with a piece of twine. They say certain prayers about the Blessed Trinity when they do this cure.

This snippet of  lore comes from the website. It comprises part of the National Folklore Collection, property of University College Dublin held in trust for the people of Ireland. Content was collected by local children in 1937 and 1938, carefully transcribed under the supervision of their teachers and forwarded with great pride to form part of the Collection.


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Killina Story

Paddy Forde, Killinny East, age 11

Photo: Norma Scheibe
Burren Hawthorn Photo: Norma Scheibe

Long ago about eighty years ago there was a great battle fought in our village. There was a Queen from the North also at the battle. She was fighting among the people and the Queen got killed in the middle of the battle. She had a great lot of precious jewellery. The men buried her standing up in the grave. The people say that it is in Burke’s field she is buried. The men planted a hawthorn tree over her grave and the people say that there are four black cats guarding the treasure there always. Cilleení was the name of the Queen. The grave is still there and plain to be seen.

From the National Folklore Collection, property of University College Dublin held in trust for the people of Ireland. Content was collected by children in 1937 and 1938, carefully transcribed under the supervision of their teachers and forwarded with great pride to form part of the Collection.

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Local place names – Killina N.S.

From Margaret Cavanagh (c.1937)wall
When the women of our village “Clúin-a-see” would be leaving a cake out to cool on the window-sill they would first take a bite of it. The fairies would take it only for that.
There is a field near my house it is called poll-a-Feóla. It is called that name because in olden times robbers used to steal sheep from farmers and kill them and hide them there. There is a great big heap of stones in the middle of the hole.
There is another hole near our house and it is called pollac-na-mbó. It is called that because since it was made there are cattle going into it for water. One time people were trying to make a road down to it. Every night the stones used to be put back to the place they cleared. One night they stayed there after six and they saw a stick pointing towards them. Nobody tried to “ready” it since because they think it is haunted.
There is another hole near my house. It is called poll-beacháchán it is so-called because a man was following a fox on horse-back and they fell into the water and got drowned. There is another field called poll na Choonach. There are badgers living in it.
There is another field and my father said there was war in it once. There is another hole called poll-eidhin. It was choked by ivy long ago. The people filled it up with stones for fear the cattle would fall into it.
There are some people great for putting “the bad eye” on things. They would say “Isn’t that a fine child” and would not say “God bless him”. There was a woman and a boy coming home from town at ten in the night and every step she took there used to be a candle-stick before her on the road and she put them in her basket and kept one in her hand and when she reached home she had only the one that she had in her hand and people say that it is in Gort yet.
There is a “lios” near my house and it is down in history. The name is liosin-a-mheala.

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The rent office, Loughrea – 1937

The Daily News 9th November, 1937 p6

Loughrea lake Photo: Anthony Wikimedia Commons
Loughrea lake
Photo: Anthony
Wikimedia Commons

An infernal machine today partly wrecked the rent-office in Loughrea, County Galway, where the Earl of Harewood’s agent is due tomorrow to collect quarterly rents from the Harewood tenants.

Arrests are expected.

Negotiations are progressing between the Earl of Harewood and tenants for the sale of the town of Loughrea. Court proceedings for the recovery of outstanding rents have been postponed pending an agreement