A Definition of Folklore.
"Lore or legend is not simply a collection of amusing
and fabulous stories handed down orally from one generation to the next,
rather it is a way of explaining the processes of natures and the
mystery of existences by ancient, largely illiterate peoples before the
advent of science. A mythological world picture was common to all
ancient cultures across the globe, with variations of different myths
occurring across different cultures. For example before Christianity
came to Norway, people believed that lightening and thunder happened
when the god Thor rode across the sky in a chariot drawn by two goats,
swinging his hammer." (From The Marrying of Brigit and Christ in the
Parish of Templeorum, Introduction (Granagh) 2000, p. 2, by
Folklore comes within the ambit of lore, myth and
legend. In the Gaelic tradition as distinct from the Greek myths, none
of it was written down, until the coming of Christianity to Ireland in a
more organised way, in the 5th century, with the return of Patrick to
Ireland as a missionary. In the centuries which followed, these myths,
legends and beliefs, were Christianized. The great mythological sagas
such as the Táin Bó Culáige, the story of the contest for
possession of the Brown Bull of Cooley, was committed to
manuscript in the post Christian era. In many cases, in the committing
of these ancient stories to paper, by the Christian monks, a liberal
amount of revisionism was applied to the original story. At its most
simple, folklore can be defined as body of stories illustrating the way
of life and beliefs of a people at a given period, in place and
time, coming to encompass their culture. The folklore of the Templeorum,
Owning and Piltown, districts of south county Kilkenny is both a
reflection of its own specific way of life and beliefs and those of the
wider Gaelic/Celtic tradition.
a local historian in my historical research and in my growing up in
the south county Kilkenny, I came by many stories. A collection of
my folklore stories is deposited in the Department of Folklore at
University College Dublin. The manuscripts of the National Schools
Collection collected by the Folklore Commission in the 1930s is also
there and contains material from the schools in my area. The
material on this site is drawn from both my own collection and the
latter 1930s Folklore Commission Collection, which I accessed on
microfilm at the county library in Kilkenny city. In what comprises
folklore - myths, legends, superstitions, beliefs and practices,
there is flowing through some recurring motifs or themes. Both on a
local level and a wider level, the magical numbers 3, 5, 7, and nine
recur, the animal world, magical horses, cows, pigs , bulls, and the
black hound, the red haired woman at the well, the banshee, her
comb, sightings of fairies, sometimes hurling in raths late at
night, the witch like woman who can appear in the guise of a
who steals butter or cream on the eve of 1st of May and the headless
funeral coaches, seen late at night. Lore and legend is not a
set of actual factual truths, if you fail to see beyond this and
miss the symbolism, you have missed everything. The symbolism is the
wheel on which it turns and spins out to the wider world of
recognition. Symbolism is inherent in all early peoples and their
cultures. In relaying the selection of stories chosen for inclusion
in this site, I attempt to give a short explanation as to what may
be the symbolism underlying each story.
motif, Tybroughney Stone
By Mary O’Shea
Published in Christmas
Supplement, Munster Express, December 2005.
As with many counties
throughout the country, the county of Kilkenny is rich in lore and
legend. The Folklore Commission in the 1930s collected many of them
from National School pupils throughout the country, and the Kilkenny
scholar John O’Donovan spent his life in the mid 19th century
collecting lore. We have the O’Donovan Ordnance Survey Letters for
each county. He also contributed to the Journal of the Royal Society
of Antiquities of Ireland, then published in Kilkenny.
Apart from human ghosts
in the form of the banshee for instance, animals feature frequently
in lore and legend. Ancient peoples lived in intimate connection
with the natural world around them and depended on it to sustain
them through their lives. The early Irish saints in their closeness
to nature, had animals as companions, St. Ciaran, for instance is a
good example, as a fox and a badger were his helpmates. There is the
well known Legend of St. Ciaran, in which his sister who was living
with him was devoured by a wolf and he in his great distress knitted
back the bones and buried her as a human corpse.
Certain animals symbolise
an unlucky or even evil influence, the snake/serpent is an almost
universal symbol of temptation, of the Devil. Partiularly in the
Judea/Christian tradition. For instance in south Kilkenny, St.
Patrick is said to have banished with his crozier a serpent who
lived in the river running through the wood of Glenbower, near
Owning. At the waterfall, the red stones are stained by the blood of
St. Patrick’s donkey as he cut a knee crossing the river. It is on a
donkey that Jesus Christ, that the founder of Christianity rode in
triumph into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. The donkey is said to have
the outline of the Cross on his back from this association with
Christ. The donkey symbolises goodness, a good omen.
Cattle and horses are the
subjects of sagas and myths, not only confined to the Celtic canon
of legend but feature in the legends of other cultures across the
globe. In occurance the cow and the bull, take predominance. For
instance St. Brigit was reared on the milk of a red eared cow. In
the Ulster Cycle sagas a collection of Irish epic prose stories,
belonging to a group called the Tåin, or the Cattle Raid
of Cooley, feature the brown Brown Bull, the Donn and the White
Bull of Cooley. It is a story of cattle rustling, political strife
between Ulster and Connaught, and the ambition of Queen Meabh to
subdue Ulster and have the Brown Bull of Cooley. This ancient saga
was written down in the 12th century by Christian scribes and was
given a Christian interpretation, with a liberal doppling of
Moving to the Near East,
Indians personified all aspects of nature and spirituality in the
form of their numerous deities. The best loved deity of Krishna the
cowherd, eight incarnation of Vishnu. He lives as child in the
forest surrounded by childhood friends, by cows and by peacocks. He
dances with his lover, the divine Radha, and togehter they share
perfect spiritual love. Followers of Krishna offer him their
unconditional devotion as the one Supreme God. The cow is sacred in
In outer Mongola, among
the Khalkha tribe, ther eis a belief that their origin is due to
the love of a shamanic nature spirit and a cow. The first Khalka was
born from a cow and raised on her creamy milk, and left to the tribe
a natural inclination towards cattle rearing and nomadic life. The
married women of this tribe wear their hair parted in the middle,
combed outwards, and stiffened with mutton fat, in the form of a
long pair of horns. Their dresses are notable for the high
projections that they wear on their shoulders, resembling the
shoulder blades of cattle.
In the Irish context,
these stories were handed down orally, as the ancient Irish
committed nothing to paper, so it was in the early Christian era and
especially, in the 12th century that most of these sagas and legends
were written down, and given the Christian slant, imbued with a
Christian moral instruction. Here under are stories from south
An Unclean Beast.
In the parish of
Kilcolumb, barony of Ida, there is an elevation called Con-bhuidhe,
which got its name from the following legend. It comes from the
Tripartite Life of St. Patrick. St. Patrick travelled through the
plains of Ossory, on his conversion and to see what progress his
predecessor St. Ciaran had made. He came to a remarkable hill, then
called Cnoc-na-radharc, - hill of the sights or views, and he
resolved to build a church there. Patrick set about the work, and
collected a number of labourers and others to help him. While the
work was progressing, a woman who lived in the adjacent village of
Ballincrea, sent St. Patrick a present of an animal cooked in a dish
for his dinner. After he viewed the animal for some time, he formed
the view that it was an unclean beast, and, moreover, as he had
found some of the inhabitants of the area ill-instructed in
Christianity, and others stubborn pagans, he concluded that the
present was sent to insult him. So he laid down the dish upon a
large stone, he knelt down upon the same stone, and prayed to God to
restore life to whatever animal had been cooked. A yellow hound
sprang from the dish and ran in the direction of the conflux of the
Three Waters. St. Patrick ordered the workmen to kill it, and they
followed the hound with spades, pick-axes, shovels, and crow-bars.
A mile away they overtook it and killed it. They buried it on the
side of the road, and over its grave sprang a white-thorn, called
“The Little Thorn of the Hound.” All the stones from a one mile
distant of this white-thorn show the track of the hound’s feet, and
one stone contains a hollow which is said to be the impression of
St. Patrick’s knee. This hollow is filled with water and is regarded
as being sacred.
In a place called
Tinnahoe, there is a small lake, out of which horses of a black
colour, were seen to emerge. These are enchanted horses, and a man
versed in the art of catching these beautiful animals, caught a
mare. She remained with him until she had seven foals. As the man
who had her, used the halter with which he caught for common
purposes and scolded the animal herself, called her ugly names and
mentioned the name of the devil, he lost her. As soon as she heard
the name of the evil one she neighed seven times, broke loose from
his grasp, and ran towards the lake, followed by her seven foals.
Mac Oda, the owner, saw the mare and her foals plunge into the water
according to their age.
There is a field, a hilly
one, in the townland of Raheen, in which magical white horses were
seen. A group of young lads were crossing this field after stealing
apples in an orchard a mile away, when out of nowhere, a herd of
white horses began to chance after them. They ran with fright and
lost their apples in the rush away from these horses. Only when they
had crossed the stream in the bog, leading into the Mountain Grove
wood, did the horses disappear into thin air. The field is said to a
Horses pull headless
coaches and hearses late at night. Sightings of these are quite
common in lore stories. A field called “The Mass Path” field is the
location of many sightings of such coaches, late at night, in the
townland of Raheen.
The hound, be he either
yellow or black features in many stories. In the townland of Raheen,
again, he crosses a Mass path and old roadway, at the spot where an
old mansion house or colloquially called “Shireley’s Castle,”
stands. A man is believed to have been murdered here by his brother,
tumbled out of a boat in a field in the front of the castle, where
there was an artificial lake. Several people encountered this
strange hound, bearing his white teeth. On one occasion this hound
tried to block the path of a man going over to Templeorum village to
call the priest to a dying person. And on another occasion the hound
halted in front of a passer-by, bearing his white teeth and
exclaiming: Mo Cailin Deas Crua na mbó. My beautiful young
girl who is milks the cows.
A group of men who had
been playing cards late into the night in Miltown, were chased from
the vicinity of Muckalee graveyard all the way to Mullinbeg by a
more than one black hound.
A woman living in a small
house in Potstown, up Owning hill, near O’Neill’s mill, was said to
be a witch. One morning on the 1st of May, she came into the
cowhouse of a neighbour and was caught stealing cream. She escaped
by changing herself into the form of a rabbit. This woman is said to
have stolen cream and butter from many farmers. Even though she had
only one cow herself and a few hens, she was never short of milk,
butter or eggs, all year round.
These two stories are taken from my own
collection and from the 1930s Folklore Commission Collection from
pupils of the National Schools of Templeorum, Owning and Piltown. In
both these stories, some of the common motifs occur. In the first
story, above, we have the magical white horses of the Otherworld,
white horses feature in Tír na óng, the Land of Everlasting
youth, from which Fionn returns and is changed into an old man, all
grey hairs and wrinkles. The hound appears, this mythical canine may
symbolise the Hound of Cuchaláinn. Sometimes this hound is
associated with a tragic death, such as that of a murder. The
struggle between Saint Patrick and the unclean beast shows us the
influence of Christianity, the unclean beast can be interpreted as
symbolising the "pagan" or pre-Christian world of beliefs and
obviously, Saint Patrick symbolises Christianity, the "true God" and
his and its struggle with the pre-Christian beliefs of early
Christian Ireland. In the story of the seven bishops in a basket, we
have a similar theme, and there is the echo of Moses' basket in the
Old Testament. The wolf is the demon beast in relation to Saint
Ciaran. The magical number 7 is prominent in the bishops' story. The
woman who turns into a rabbit on May Eve to harm steal
people's cream and butter and to make their cows dry is part of the
canon of superstitions associated with 1st May, Bealtine, in
the old "Celtic" calandar. The "Celtic" or "pagan" pre-Christian
year was divided thus:
Samháin, the time of the dead,
the dying of the old year and the beginning of the new on 1st of
November. Christianity Christianises it into All Souls, the 1st of
February, Imbólog, very much associated with saint Brigit,
whose person incorporates in one, the pre-Christian goddess of
fertility, of the arts, of poetry and of metal work, and the
Christian nun, saint, whose feast day is marked on 1st February by
among other things, the making of Brigit's Cross, made of twisted
wreaths in the shape of a crucifix, it marks the beginning of Spring
and re-growth, Beáltine, 1st of May, when May bushes were
erected, consisting of hawthorns or sceachts, decorated
with eggs shells and ribbons, marking the beginning of summer, and
on 1st August the great harvest festival of Lúghnasa,
honouring the old God, Lugh, the god of light and fecundity. May was
Christianised to the month of the Blessed Virgin, indeed, the Virgin
Mary and Brigit are closely linked in early Christianity and the
month of August is the month of the Assumption on the 15th of the
month, marking the reception of the Blessed Virgin, mother of Christ
into heaven, welcomed by her son.
Seven Bishops In A
The Marrying of Brigit and Christ in the Parish of Templeorum,
The lore collected from
the national schools of Templeorum, Harristown, Garrygaug,
Tobernabrone, and Piltown in 1938 by the Folklore Commission, is on
microfilm at Kilkenny library. It is needless to say a fascinating
collection of material collected by the pupils from their
grandparents and old neighbours. In compiling this booklet this
writer read them closely. The following legend comes from a pupil of
Owning school. It is heavily symbolic and transcends the merely
A man lived with his wife
on the hill near Kilkieran. He emigrated for a time, when he
returned home he discovered that he had seven sons. Infuriated he
put them into a basket, to carry them to the Lingaun river, where he
intended to drown them. On his way he met a priest who asked him
what had he in the basket. He replied: "pups." The priest lifted the
cover and saw the infants, he admonished the man, took the infants
away, he reared and educated them. Each of the seven infants became
a bishop. These seven infants were said to have been born at the one
On their way back from
Rome, while walking by Granny Castle, the Countess Granny sees them,
she orders her servant to kill them so as to get any gold chalices
being carried with them. Her servant chases them as far as
Lismatigue, a townland adjoining Harristown, some seven or eight
miles from Granny. They are murdered at a place called The Ford
of the Heads, near the moat at Lismatigue. Near the moat also
are the remains of an old church and graveyard. They are said to
have been buried at Kilkieran and or at Ahenny, underneath the High
Crosses which sprang up overnight over their graves. In the district
of Mullinavat, there is a place called
where it is said three bishops were murdered and three stones sprang
up overnight over their graves. These stones are likely to be three
standing stones which are the remains of a stone circle, a place of
Celtic worship. Different versions of similar type legends occur in
more than one district. The springing up of stones miraculously or
magically overnight over graves might be something of pre-Christian
significance associated with important personages such as Celtic
priests and transferred in early Christian times to Catholic
This is a story or legend
carrying more than one symbol. Behind the legend is the story of a
man who returned home from abroad to find that his wife had
committed adultery, having maybe twins not seven infants as this
would have been biologically impossible without fertility pills and
he decided to take revenge by drowning the innocent infants. The
intervention of the priest represents the intervention of Christ who
represents Christianity which abhors revenge and looks after the
innocent. We note that number seven is a Celtic magic number, this
being an ancient Irish legend.
There is an Old Testament
Biblical element in the presence of the basket. Moses immediately
springs to mind, a Jew who is a universal symbol of liberation and
leadership. He led the Jews out of slavery in Egypt, the venerated
images being the burning bush, the parted sea, the dry rock bursting
with water and manna.
Rameses II (reign
1279-1213 BC), was threatened by the growth of the Israelite
population and so he ordered the killing of all new born males by
throwing them into the Nile river. Moses' mother kept her baby
hidden for three months in a basket and then set him adrift. The
story of the baby in the basket is a favourite among Hebrew scholars
and it is part of an ancient type of legend handed down from one
generation to another. Pharoh's daughter, an Egyptian, adopts the
child in the basket and calls him Moses. The name is connected to a
Hebrew verb indicating that she drew him from water. It should be
noted that Jesus or Christ was in danger of being beheaded as a
first born male infant by a jealous and power-hungry ruler of the
The numbers three and
seven feature in the Book of Job in the Old Testament, Job has three
daughters, three comforters, and seven sons. In the mythology and in
the literature of many cultures these two numbers occur frequently,
not least in the East and Near East.
is not fully explainable.
1814 workmen engaged in repairs at Lismore Castle County Waterford,
came across a walled up passage where there was hidden a wooden box,
wherein was a crozier and an old vellum manuscript, the remains of
the so called Book of Lismore. This book contains lives of
saints written in Irish with a good dollop of legend thrown in
for good measure.
A mixture of the factual and the imaginative, again heavily
symbolic. Brigit is one of the saints featured. Among the personages
who came to visit her during her lifetime were the seven bishops who
were on the hill east of Leinster. Brigit ordered a
certain man of her household to go and catch fish for the guests.
The man in the attempt to catch a seal was dragged over the sea to
the shore of Britain, the seal made its way back. British fishermen
gave a boat to Brigit's fisherman when he told them of his
difficulty. When he crossed the sea he found his seal on the shore
of the sea of Leinster and took it back to Brigit. It was accounted
one of Brigit's miracles and the fishermen of Britain sang her
The basket of Moses is
also a symbol of fecundity or plenty. Many legends have within them
a universal element, the story of the seven bishops is a rich blend
of the Celtic, the early Christian and the Jewish. It is this wider
resonance and symbolism which gives it its real force. We can also
see that lawlessness and robbery are not just a feature of modernity
or modern day living.
A long time ago there
lived a sportsman who hunted every day. This day as he went out with
his horse to hunt he said to his friends and servants that he would
beat the Devil today. As he was riding along a gentleman rode in
front of him with his horse. In the evening he invited him to tea.
When they had finished they played a game of cards. As they were
playing one of the cards fell and this gentleman went to pick it up.
As he was about to pick it up he saw the "epub" of a hound and
people say that the Devil has one "epub". They sent for a priest to
drive out the Devil. When the priest arrived at the house he drove
the Devil through the slates of the house. Whilist the Devil was
flying through the slates he tumbled down a great number of slates.
The next day a mass was said. They went to put up the slates but as
they put them up they were falling down. At last he had to put a
sheath of glass on top of the house. The house is still to be seen
Written by Mary Joe
O'Shea, Raheen a pupil of Templeorum N.S., collected from her father
A watery sun donates
rain. When the sun is red in the sky in the morning it is a sign of
bad weather. Red in the evening is a sign of good weather. A
mackerel sky is a sign of wet weather. A circle around the moon is
sign of rain. A cloudy sky denotes rain. Rainbow in the morning is a
sign of rain. Rainbow in the night is a sign of good weather.
"Rainbow in the morning is a sailor's warning. Rainbow in the night
is a shepard's delight." When a pinkish flame comes from he fire it
is a sign of rain. When the swallows fly low it denotes good
weather. When the curlew screams it foretells bad weather.
Written by Patrick Culleton of Ashtown, pupil of Templeorum N.S. It
does not say from whom he collected the material, presumably his
parents or old neighbours.
People sought cures in
many deserted places long ago. A doctor was very seldom sent for or
required as the people cured their ailments with herbs. Many of the
medical remedies used at present were not known by the old people.
A person whose surname
was Walsh or Cahill, his blood was employed to cure wild fire. The
blood of a black cat was used also for this disease. To heal a cut a
cobweb was applied, after which the cut was soon healed. For warts
many cures were employed, the slime of a snail being the commonest,
after which the snail was hung on a hawthorn bush and left to
wither. When the snail withered the wart withered also. A frog was
sometimes used to cure toothache. A burned alder stick was used to
Many people visited holy
wells to cure sore eyes. Some applied the water to their eyes while
others drank it.
Written by Nancy Moran of Kilmogue, collected from her father Edward
above two stories, with others, were published in Parish of
Templeorum, a Historical Miscellany, (Granagh) 1999, by Mary
O'Shea. The stories are written down as they were spoken orally,
as I do with the stories in my own collection, in order to
preserve the way of telling, the colloquial expression and
dialect. So excuse the sometimes improper English and grammar.
More Stories Collected in the
Bowers of Cloncunny can cure any kind of disease. Mansel
Bowers has cures and collects herbs for the diseases. To cure a pain in the
back, he boils ground ivy. Patrick Oakey, Clonmore, can cure warts. Using an
alder stick, he cuts as many holes in it as there are warts on the person.
He then bruises them. The warts will go away. He also says some prayers.
Patrick Cahill could cure wildfire. He ties a cord tightly around the top of
the finger and pricks it. Then he rubs the blood on the wildfire. There is
a man named Eaton Bowers that can cure dropsy. old tea will cure sore eyes.
White paper would stop blood. Patrick Walsh Mooncoin stops blood, or
bleeding. Mrs. Walsh Fiddown could cure yellow jaundice. St. Patrick's leaf
will cure a cut.
My Home District.
I live in the townland of Raheen in the parish of
Templeorum and the Barony of Iverk. Raheen comes from the Irish word
ráithin. It means the little rath. There are twelve families in Raheen.
Their surnames are - Larkins, Daniels, Browns, Powers, Walshs, Fitzgeralds,
Murphys, Fitspatricks and O'Sheas. The population is forty people. There are
four old people in the townland and their surnames are Mrs. Damiels whose
age is 94, Mr. Daniels who is 72. There is a ruin of an old house in Raheen.
Holden was the man's name that lived in it. There are a few hills in Raheen
and a river which divides Raheen from Ballygown.
From Mary Joe O'Shea, Raheen, Piltown, County
Kilkenny. Collected from her father Tom O'Shea.
There lived in Harristown a boy who was very poor. One
day as he was coming home from school he went to a smith's forge for shelter
from the rain. Whilst the boy was inside the smith was making shoes. On the
fire was a red hot iron. The smith told the boy he would give him a shilling
of he would lick it. The boy taking the shilling licked it and walked out
with it. When the smith saw what the boy had done, he became very
angry and told the boy to come back with it. But the boy never returned.
In olden times people used to get up early to go to the
fairs. One morning very early a man was going to a fair. he met a funeral.
The last in the crowd was his sister who had been buried four months before.
She had not much clothes on her. He asked her why she had not much clothes
on her. She told him that the person to whom he gave her clothes, pawned
them. He was to go and get them and get a mass said for her. So he did and
never saw her again.
From Sean Carroll, Brenor, Piltown, County Killkenny.
Collected from his father, John Carroll.
Note: In every district in the country,
there were certain people who had old cures for various animal and human
ailments, handed down to them from generation to generation, going back in
time. How deeply the seeker believed in the cure determined its success or
failure. The story featuring the smith echoes back to the sacred nature of
smith in ancient Ireland. Forge water was said to have curative powers. The
smith was a member of the priviliged aés dána class in ancient times,
along with poets, brehons, druids, priests and wheel-rights. The carrying
out of a dying person's wishes and the respect shown to the dead is a theme
of the last story above.
Former National School, Templeorum, now
Stories from website author's
Muckalee church remains and graveyard is a circular site
situated between the townlands of Miltown and Garrygaug. The site is early
Christian, whose patron saint is Saint Canice. A family named Reddy lived
near the graveyard. They had to block the window of their house which faced
the graveyard as lat at night a light could be seen. Often a
funeral was held late at night and headless coaches leading a funeral
late at night wee also observed.
A Curse on Kilmogue.
The townland of Kilmogue is named after Saint Mogue, who
was abbot of Ferns and patron of the early Christian small church and
monastery at Kilmogue. The remains of church and graveyard fence were taken
down in the 18th century and remains left in Grant's, now O'Shea's haggard.
There was a hermit monk's cell in a rath, nearby.
Two monks in the Middle Ages were walking from Kilmogue
to Jerpoint Abbey, by an old roadway which went from Kilmogue, through
Lismatigue and came out at Castlemorris or Aghavillar, to Knocktoper and to
Thomastown, when they were waylaid and robbed. Hence a curse fell on Kilmgue.
Sightings of Two Dead Sisters.
A named Anty Higgins of Templeorum townland, a place
named High Street, was closing her door one night when she saw two sisters
of a her neighbour, Frank Walsh, walk up the road together. Nothing unusual
in that you might say, except they were dead with some years in America. It
was not unusual to hear of sightings of dead people who died in America back
in their native place after dying. Old people could tell you several such
The Banshee's Comb.
I never heard the Banshee myself. She is supposed to
follow certain families. A baby died in agony a mile from our home, in a
house on the side of the road. My father told us that just after it died, an
unmerciful keen was heard outside. Sometimes cats bawling late at night
sounded like her. A dog keening late at night is a sign that someone from
the house or related to the house is about to died or that someone far away,
even in another country, who once came from the house, has died.
My father told me that a week after his mother dying in
1917, they found a strange comb outside her bedroom window, downstairs, in
the morning. Everyone was certain that no one in the house had put it there.
The Banshee came during the night and put it there. It wasn't like any of
the combs used by ordinary people.
The Leg of a Cock.
Superstitions played a central role in the lives of rural
people down to the 1950s/1960s, even, in some areas. Many a family had
vicious rows over spells etc, especially around 1sy May. We were digging out
spuds one time and we found eggs on a drill. Our father was fearful. It was
probably a bird to happened to lay them there. If a person could be blamed
he would not be regarded highly afterwards by us.
A woman from Ashtown, which is bordering Kilmogue,
visited another woman in Kilmogue. She brought a currant cake in a bag which
was customary. They had a great chat. The visitor killed a cock for food a
few days before, however, one of his legs found its way, somehow, into the
bag with the currant bread. When the visitor was gone, the woman of the
house looked to see what she had brought and was livid to find a dead cock's
leg in the bag. She thought that she was deliberately bringing her bad luck
by leaving it behind. They fell out over it. The Civil War was nothing to
the row that took place.
Note: Lights late at night in graveyards and
mysterious late night funerals are commonly found in the folklore
repertoire. The dead and their place of rest was surrounded by all kinds of
superstitions and mysticism. If a soul was not at rest for some reason,
maybe buried in a place not of their wishes, they came come back to haunt
the people. Respecting a dying person's wishes was
regarded as a must and sacred duty. Otherwise haunting and bad luck would
follow. The Banshee is a mysterious otherworld creature, described as
being heard without been seen, more often than the other way around. She is
said to follow certain Gaelic families with the prefix O or Mac before their
surnames. After the displacement of the Gaelic lords by the English and the
Flight of the Earls in 1607, she is sometimes seen as a protector and
lamenter for lost Irish. She might be an otherworld pre-Christian goddess,
who has changed and come down to us as the Banshee, the foreteller of a
death in a family. The Banshee's comb
is a familiar motif found in stories relating to her. It is an object
not to be touched by human hands. It, too, may foretell an imminent death in
the family. The cock, in folklore, has flying about him many superstitions.
His crowing early in the morning can signify a bad omen
if heard too often in the one week. In the story of Christ's betrayal and
denied by Peter three times, the cock crows three times as Christ predicted
he would when Peter was about to deny him. Potatoes in Ireland are known as
Other sites by Mary O'Shea on rootsweb freepages.
How to get my sites on
Go to rootsweb.com at top of
any of my existing sites or just type rootsweb.com into
Address Bar of Internet Explorer or into Google search.
Then click websites,
then click freepages indexes, then click H for
history, then in next list of letters click W. I am
listed Wepages at Freepages History, Publication
Extracts, Mary O’Shea
To get site under Religions catergory
click websites as above, surnames websites and click freepages
indexes then click Religions category, then click
R and I am listed as Religions, early Christianity
in Tempelorum District, south Kilkenny, Mary O'Shea,
To access Shea Genealogy site click
websites as above, surnames and freepages indexes,
and choose Genealogy cetagory, and then the
letter G. I am listed as Genealogy Shea, south
Kilkenny, Mary O'Shea, Stoneagemary