School: Druim Mór

Dromore, Co. Sligo
Seosamh Ó Catháin

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Biorán and his Paidrín Mare

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The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0167, Page 0420

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Long long ago there lived a man named Biorán and he had a wonderful horse. There was no other horse in Ireland able to beat him at racing. One day Biorán received a challenge from another man in the South of Ireland to race his horse at an appointed place. When Biorán was riding into the field beside the horse he heard the other horse saying to his rider "Bear me up the hill, Spare me down the hill and whip me on the level." Biorán went immediately to the priest and told him what he had heard. The priest said it was the Devil in the shape of a horse. He told him to make a necklace of "Apple Praties". When the necklace was brought to him he blessed it and put it on the horse's neck. Then he told the jockey if he did not get the start on the other horse he was to retire, if he did he would hold it all the time and win in the end. However the two horses lined up and the jockey managed to get the start on the other horse and maintained it all the way. When the other horse saw he was beaten he fell dead on the course. Ever after the Biorán's horse was called The Paidrín Mare.
Biorán now went to England to race him there. The Paidrín Mare beat all horses that raced against him. One day when the Paidrín Mare was racing in England she was beaten wrongfully. The owner saw a young fellow crying beside him. He turned round to him and asked him what he was crying for. He said it was because the Paidrín Mare was beaten wrongfully. "And why have you such a grádh for the mare" said Biorán. "Well, many a time I fed the Paidrín Mare," said the young fellow. "Would you ride

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Seosamh Ó Catháin
Dromore West, Co. Sligo
Bartley Fox
Farranmacfarrell, Co. Sligo