School: Dromlachan

Sunnagh More, Co. Leitrim
Peadar Mac Giolla Choinnigh

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Dromlachan | The Schools’ Collection

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The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0221, Page 519

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Long ago wakes were very rough. The corpse was laid out on the kitchen table and a lot of tricks were played. A pipe was put in the mouth of the corpse, and the men began to peg “clods” eg. little bits of turf, at the pipe to see who would hit it first. The pipes in those days had very long “shanks”. Then a rope was tied around the leg of the corpse, and drawn under the table. Then when there were some nervous women in the kitchen, the rope was pulled and the corpse stood up on the table. The light was blown out and there used to be great screaming & commotion.

Then there used to be games of “slapping”. The men stood round the kitchen in a circle and put their open right hand on the back. Then the person slapped the hand in front of him and the slapping went round the circle. If there was any person in the ring that wasn’t liked his hand was hit with a short piece of stick & dirt was put on it.