School: Baile an Daingin (C.) (roll number 4828)

Ballindine, Co. Mayo
Máire de Staic

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Old Stories

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0096, Page 441

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The following tale is quite common in this district and is generally believed to be founded on fact. A young farmer from Kilclooney, a small village near Tuam went to America to earn his living. He could not find work in the cities so he went West and got a job as a cow boy on a ranch. One evening so the story goes, he was taking a stroll for himself when his work was over, when he saw a funeral coming towards him. Although he was going in the opposite side he turned to walk the "three steps of mercy" with the coffin as he had been accustomed to do at home in Ireland. He glanced casually at the people around him and was surprised to see several people he knew. He began to talk to them and the next thing he knew was that they were in the graveyard, he thought it looked like the graveyard in his own village of Kilclooney. He began to wander round among the graves, and saw one that looked very like the grave in which his father was buried in Kilclooney graveyard. He said nothing to anybody but took a green silk handkerchief from his pocket and placed it on the grave sticking his pocket-knife through it to keep it from flying away.

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Maureen Stack