School: An Cnoc (C.) (roll number 16123)

Location:
Knock, Co. Mayo
Teacher:
Bean Uí Bheirn

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The Beggars Long Ago

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0108, Page 203

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There are not as many beggars nowadays as there were in days gone by. At about twenty or thirty years ago they were very plentiful. They travelled from village to village and they got lodgings in a different house every night. They were very funny and they told stories and they sung songs and they danced and they played flutes. All the neighbours young and old gathered together to listen to the stories. When bed-time came the old men and some of the old women smoked their pipes and drank tea. Then the man of the house got bundles of straw and made straw beds for them in the corner. If they had a hag bed in the kitchen and two lots of beggars would be quarrelling to see which would have the bed. There were no laws against begging then, but now if they are found begging the guard summons them.

Collector
Beesy Heneghan
Gender
female
Informant
Mr Michael Heneghan
Gender
male
Age
48
Address
Cloondace, Co. Mayo
Language
English