School: Sruthar (C.)

Location:
Shrule, Co. Mayo
Teacher:
Bríd, Bean Uí Éanacháin

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Signs of Death - Pisreoga about Wakes and Funerals

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0102, Page 141

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Signs of Death. Pisreoga about Wakes & Funerals.
The old people who are now dead had several customs and pisreoga connected with death. A tick in the wall was a sign of death. This tick was called the "Death watch". The old people used to say that a sure sign of death was to see a sick person throwing the clothes down off him.
When a dog was heard crying in the night time it was a death warning to any sick person in the village. The crying of the banshee was a death warning.
An image called "Colann gan Ceann" used to be seen, and the person who saw it, died soon after. To hear a hen crowing is also a sign of death. If a leather bat took a rib out of a persons head when flying over him, that person would die soon after.
It is not right to throw out dust or ashes in a house where there is a corpse. When a person dies in a house, it is right to stop the clock. People should wash all the clothes in the bed or in the room where a corpse was. Even toilet covers, the table-cloths, etc. should be at least wet. When the woman of the house is hanging out the clothes to dry, two of the neighbouring woman should accompany her.

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Collector
Nóra Ní Dhubhdha
Gender
female
Address
Cahernabrock, Co. Mayo
Informant
James Dowd
Relation
parent
Gender
male
Age
60
Address
Cahernabrock, Co. Mayo
Language
English