School: Tomghéis (roll number 9239/9277)

Tumgesh, Co. Mayo
M. Ó Casaide

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Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0123, Page 130

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Some old customs at death:—
1. Formerly people used to sing at wakes, they don't now.
2. Slapping was an old custom at wakes, the young men of a village challenging those of another. The hands were held crossed behind the back, while the slapper hit them with the open palm, no unusual thing for people to faint. It is not done in this locality, but it is still carried on in the Midfield district of Swinford, about four miles to the south of the town in the Kilkelly direction.
3. When the corpse is being taken out for burial, the seats are turned upside-down—still practiced.Four people of the same name must carry it out from the house. The same four to carry corpse into the graveyard from the entrance to the grave. The corpse must be carried out the front door, feet first.
4. Clay-pipes are still used at wakes, a friend of the deceased distributes them at intervals during the night. If pipes left over, they are left on the grave.
5. When a friend (relation) of the deceased comes to the corpse-house, all the relations stand round the corpse to cry: they begin together and finish off together.
6. When a person dies the eyes are held closed by somebody at the bedside until they remain closed, the mouth is also held closed, and if it fails to remain closed

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