School: Ballinalee (roll number 1174)

Ballinalee, Co. Longford
Ss. Ó Mainchín

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Fairy Forts

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0766, Page 235

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In the townland of Leitrim there are two forts circular in shape. They are used as haggards.
Fairies are fallen angels who were not bad enough to be sent to hell. God gave them the choice of dwelling in the most beautiful country on earth and they picked Ireland.
A fairy pass was one place where a new house should not be built unless the fairies displeasure was to be incurred.
If a man wanted to build a new house in a particular place, he buried a coin usually a sixpence in the spot. If the coin were gone in a week the fairies did not want the house built but if it remained there it was safe to build.
Kathleen Murtagh's father Pat Murtagh, Garvagh townland told her that that his mother told him that her mother went every night to a neighbouring house with milk. One night when it was later than usual she brought her son with her for company. There was a fort in the field the house was in, and when she was going into the house she told her son to wait for her as she would not be long. When she came out he was not there. She called him but got no answer. She went on and as she was passing by the fort she saw him standing in it. She called him and he told her to listen to the lovely music. Both of them listened

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James Mannix