School: Béal an Átha Móir (B.)

Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim
Seán Ó Heslin

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St Mogue Island

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0225, Page 372

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

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St Mogue's Island is in the Parish of Templeport about a mile from the mainland. It is used as a burial ground by many families from the parishes of Templeport Corlough in Co Cavan, and Lower Drumreilly in Co. Leitrim.

The mortar used in building the old church, part of which is still standing, is called St Mogue's ''clay". Visitors to the island bring this ''clay'' with them and place it in their own homes. It is said that no house in which the clay is can be burned.
Portion of Con Dolan's residence and business establishment went on fire on a certain Sunday in April or May 19(?). When the fire reached a room in which there was some St Mogue's clay it was got under control and the room and the whole business end of the premises were saved.
A boat is now used to convey remains for interment to the island. Years ago a big stone shaped somewhat like a boat was used for this purpose. A lover and his lass got on this stone boat, desecrated it, with the result that the stone broke in two parts, and the boy and girl were drowned. One of the parts of this stone is still on the island. One part went to the mainland, the other to the island.
An altar stone was taken from the island but everything the spoiler had in the line of earthly goods

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Seán Ó hEslin