School: Rathkenny (roll number 15483)

Location:
Rathkenny, Co. Meath
Teacher:
Tomás Mac Cárthaigh

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Burying the Sheaf

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0714, Page 255

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"Burying the Sheaf" was a method of revenge practised in these parts long ago, by the injured party against the wrong-doer.
This was the method adopted. The injured party got a sheaf of oats (really a very small sheaf of about two handfuls of blades of ripe oats). Into each joint in each blade of oats she stuck and ordinary pin and then tied the whole into a sheaf with a "gad" or belt. The sheaf was them waked for three successive nights from nightfall to dawn with candles burning round it, and the injured party "keened" beside it, as if it were a corpse. At the end of the third night and just before day-break the injured party buried the sheaf secretly, and it is said that according as the sheaf was decaying and the pins rusting away, the wrong-doer was pining away, and finally died when the sheaf & pins were rotten.
A girl named Nanny Ward from this Parish (she lived at Knock, Wilkinstown Navan, at the bridge of

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Collector
Thomas Carty
Gender
male
Address
Rathkenny, Co. Meath
Informant
Owen Flanagan
Gender
male
Age
circa 55 till 60
Address
Ladyrath, Co. Meath
Language
English