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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.

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O’Brien’s pipe – 1894

Photo: Frankwm1 Wikimedia commons
Photo: Frankwm1
Wikimedia commons

Freeman’s Journal 13th January 1894

In the Abbey of Corcunrue (sic.) County Clare, the tomb of Donough O’Brien can still be seen, and on it there is a carved effigy of his ancient Majesty lying in state with an unmistakable pipe in his jaw.

This particular O’Brien died in 1267, two and a half centuries before Raleigh brought tobacco from America…

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The Ark – County Clare – 1930

Noah's Ark, oil on canvas painting by Edward Hicks, 1846 Philadelphia Museum of Art
Noah’s Ark, oil on canvas painting by Edward Hicks, 1846 Philadelphia Museum of Art

Primitive Church in County Clare.
A primitive “church on wheels” is still preserved as a memorial of old times in a country church in County Clare, not far from Loop Head. In this region of small villages and scattered farms and cottages the parish priest, some 80 years ago found it impossible to obtain from the Protestant landlords even the smallest site for a church. He had a little wooden chapel made, very like the foreman’s hut one sees where a new road is being made or a building erected.
A shelf at one end provided a support for an alter stone. The door at the other end was opened wide when Mass was said. The hut was placed on four small wheels and moved round the district, now to one cross-road or roadside grass patch, now to another, for the Sunday Mass.
In the fine parish church long since erected, the hut that once was a movable chapel is kept on a raised platform in the aisle. It is locally known as “The Ark.” The beams that form the framework of its base show numerous marks of the knife, for emigrants starting for America, and later soldiers going to the Great War, took with them chips from “The Ark” as something like relics from the wooden chapel consecrated by so many Masses said in the old days, often to congregations kneeling in the mud and driving rain of a winter Sunday.

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Fox, Canary, Parrott, Rabbitt – 1911

Samson's Marriage Feast - 1638 Rembrandt (1606-1669) The Yorck Project -
Samson’s Marriage Feast – 1638
Rembrandt (1606-1669)
The Yorck Project –

“My grandfather married a Fox, my father a Canary, my brother a Parrott, and I’ll go them one better”, said John R. Welsh, who will soon wed Mrs Eleanor Rabbit of this town.
In 1838 Michael Welsh Married Mary Fox at Feakle, County Clare, Ireland.
Twenty-five years afterward his son Peter led Alice Canary to the alter in New Haven
Richard, the eldest son of Peter, last year found his bride in Miss Edna Parrott, and John, next in age, will contribute to the list with Welsh Rabbit, as he puts it.

In Derby recently Walter Graves married Miss Anita Coffin.