School: Knocktemple (B.)

Location:
Knockatemple, Co. Cavan
Teacher:
W. Tuite

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Ballew-Eneschon

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0998, Page 207

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Ballew-eneshon (phonetic)

In the townland of Lurganboy there is a field called the "Shliew" and on the east side of it a small stream of clear water runs. Some time ago women of the locality used to assemble at a flag (flat stone) in the stream and do their washing there working until all the washing was completed.
Some women stood along the stream, which had been partly stopped by a dam and threw water on the clothes to be washed which had been spread on the flag; a number of women beat the clothes with beaters made of light rods tied in bundles: soap was not in use at this period. The women sang or conversed as the work proceeded and the work itself or the place was called "Ballew-eneschon" (phonetic)
The women who washed their clothes in this way were, it appears poor, and they brought their children with them as perhaps they were safer than at home.
Tradition says that when the banshee wailed for any of the O'Reillys, who lived in the neighbourhood, she went by the flat stone mentioned, and made a noise like that made by a wet cloth when "scutched", in addition to her wail. There are people still alive who heard the banshee on this spot.

Informant
Mr Matthew Tuite
Gender
male
Address
Knockaraheen, Co. Cavan
Language
English