School: Gort na Díogha (roll number 15587)

Gortnadeeve West, Co. Galway
Séamus Ó Dochartaigh, Bean Uí Dhochartaigh

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Gort na Díogha | The Schools’ Collection

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0016, Page 049

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why people close doors when funerals pass- long ago it was the custom to carry the corpse from house to house when the occupants of the later would carry it to the next house and so on. People were so weakened out from hunger as that they felt they were not able and so closed doors to prevent people from asking their help.

About a fortnight before time, rushes of 6" or 8" long are pulled tied in a bundle and hung in the loft or such dry place to dry. That day (12th) these (12) rushes are dipped in butter juice, fat, or rolled in a pan in which there is gravey and allowed to dry again. Cow-manure has been kept for this purpose. (see later) Cow-manure is shaped into something like a pancake and these rush candles are stuck into it.

(see sketch)

They are then named after the father, Mother, Tom, Mary etc. all living members of the family, and which ever candle dies

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Thomas Brennan
Knockmascahill, Co. Galway