School: Dangan (roll number 878)

Dangan, Co. Meath
Brian Mag Fhógartaigh

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The Devil of Tobertynan

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The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0692, Page 149

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A man named Paddy Kelly, Togher, Rathmolyon was nick Paddy the Hackler because he carried hackles for hackling flax on his back and hackled flax in the farmhouses.
One night he got drunk in Rathmolyon and he said he would fight the devil if he met him because the publican declared he (the Hackler) him if he did not go home. It was said the devil used to appear in the form of a fox at a pool in Tobertynan.
On his way home he was passing the pool in which Reynard was supposed to be and he called out. Reynard did not appear. The first thing Paddy noted was two things like two blazing coals of fire in the bottom of the pool. These were the eyes of Reynard. He emerged from the pool under the shape of a fox and stood before Paddy. Then he got a great fright and got sober but he held close to his hackles.
Reynard challenged him and said he would fight him if he would take his Hackles but Paddy held to his hackles. Reynard changed himself into a Bull, but Paddy held still closer to his hackles. What ever was in the Hackles no one knows but while he held the hackles the devil could not touch him.
When the devil disappeared Paddy went home and from that till died he never put his foot in Rathmolyon, The pool is ever since as Reynard hole.

Niall Nicholas Fagan
Clondoogan, Co. Meath
Mr T. Fagan
Clondoogan, Co. Meath