School: Corderay (roll number 12735)

Shancurry, Co. Leitrim
Seán Ó Céilleachair

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St Colmcille and the Flag that Moved to Inch Island

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0208, Page 152

Image and data © National Folklore Collection, UCD. See copyright details »

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St Colmcille built a church on the second largest island on Lough Allen. Around the church was a graveyard. The people on the mainland used to bury on the island.

The corpse was placed on a great flag stone and four people stood on the stone. Then the flag moved across the lough to the grave yard, and remained on the strand until the burial was over.
The flag then moved back to the main land with the burial men.
Colmcille blessed the flag.
One day a boy and girl went in on the flag, and the flag moved off.
Whether they used bad language or whether they committed a bad deed, it is not known, but when they were out in the water the stone split and one part went to the island and the other back to the main land.
Others say the stone sank with the boy .
The old people say the stone moved from Rynn's shore in Ballinaglera to Inch Island, and that it was St Buoy or St Bouy that blessed the stone.
Drumkeeran parish today is called the Parish of Innismagrath.

Seán Ó Céilleachair