School: Stackallen (roll number 1309)

Stackallan, Co. Meath
P.T. Mac Gabhann

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The Leipreachán

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0714, Page 111

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Most of the people in this district call the leipreachan a geanncanach. The leipreachan wears black shoes with buckles on them, white stockings and white trousers, a green vest, a red coat and a red cap with a big long tossel on it. The charm is supposed to be in the cap. It is said that if anyone could get the cap of the leipreachan and keep his eyes on the leipreachan that he could make him give up his gold, but he would have to keep the cap till he would get the gold.
Long ago there was a man and a woman living near a moat who had an only child. One day the woman went out and she left the child in the cradle and when she came back the child was crying and neither herself or her husband could stop it from crying. A few days after an old woman came around and the woman told the old woman about the child. The old woman said "while you were out the other day the fairies came and put that geanncanach in the cradle and took your child. If you want your child back you will put the griddle on the fire and put the geanncanagh on the griddle and he will tell you where your child is." After the old woman went the woman of the house put the griddle on the fire and had it red when the geanncanach saw what she was at and he said "I'll tell you where your child is." He brought the woman and man to a moat and he went into the moat

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Philomena Tighe
Rochestown, Co. Meath