Tom Gilroy of Cornashampsogue tells me that the old people had a reason for observing all these old pistreoga even that they do not believe in them for example. 'Don't throw out ashes without wetting it' If you do you'll destroy the Good people's [bleach?] and bring their anger on you."
The meaning at first was to prevent young people and others from being careless. The hovels were built close together and a number of such was called a "Village". In Stradrina up to eight or nine years ago we had a Village. Eight families lived inside less than an acre.
If the ashes went out dry sparks might cause a fire to the thatched houses or to the ricks of hay and straw or again a neighbour might have out her cloths drying and the hot ashes from her neighbours street would dirty and soil her clean linnen. To prevent such happenings the pistreog was established.
Another "Don't smoke over a churning" It's not lucky and will vex the good people.
Reason: To keep the "pislings" or pishleans that is the spittle drops coming from the owners mouth from dropping on the lid of the churn.
- Seán Ó Céilleachair
- Tom Gilroy
- Cornashamsoge, Co. Leitrim