School: Ballyhahill (C.) (roll number 10686)

Location:
Ballyhahill, Co. Limerick
Teacher:
H. Fitzgerald

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Ballyhahill (C.) | The Schools’ Collection

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0482, Page 276

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The Mermaid
The mermaid is supposed to be half a woman and half a fish, and always lives in the sea convenient to the coast. Tradition says she is very handsome with a beautiful head of green hair. She is seen sitting on a rock brushing her hair. She wears a "caul" and if this is snapped from her, she has no power of getting down to the sea again.
Once upon a time early in the morning a man was out bathing, and the wind blew the "caul" towards him. The mermaid screamed, and the man went and caught her and took her to his home. He hid her "caul" and he married her. For three years she lived with him never speaking one word. One day they were cleaning down some loft. The "caul" was found. The mermaid snatched it, put it on her hair, and made out to sea, and was seen no more.
Whenever she is seen it is a sign of trouble. She is looked upon by people as a bad omen, especially by sailors going out to sea, for they think that is a sign they will be lost, or that some ill will befall them.

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Collector
Annetta Dalton
Gender
female
Address
Cloonlahard East, Co. Limerick
Informant
John O' Callaghan
Gender
male
Age
67
Address
Tinnakilla, Co. Limerick
Informant
Mrs Dan O' Sullivan
Gender
female
Age
81
Address
Tooraree Upper, Co. Limerick
Language
English