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Transcripts count: 155
  1. Holy Wells

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Eibhlís Ní Chorradáin

    Holy Wells

    There was a parson living in Bedford about eighty years ago. There was a blessed well in his field about one hundred yards away from his house, near the bank of the river. One day his maid washed clothes in it and it removed across the river over to a filed of Nolans in Drombeg. It was a well for sore eyes and one day a very old man came from Knockanure to wash his eyes in the water, because he was blind. He thought that they would not get better: he only chanced it, but to his surprise his sight was restored next morning. It was called Saint Agnes's well. This is how it got its name: One day a very holy woman named Agnes came to the well to wash her eyes, because they were very sore. When she was paying her round she

  2. St Batt's Well

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Eibhlín Ní Loingsigh

    St Batt's Well

    There is a blessed well in the district of Coolard. The name of it is St Batt's Well. Every year people who have any disease go to that well to do the rounds for the disease. There is a trout inside in the well and anyone who sees the trout when he is doing the rounds is sure to be cured. They go there twice a year to do the rounds, the Saturday before the 1st of May and the Saturday before St. John's day. They say a rosary for every three rounds and they do nine rounds.
    One day a woman went to the well for a gallon of water. By mistake she brought in the trout in the gallon. She put down the water to boil, but when she went to it again to see if it was boiled it was as cold as when she put it down. She saw the trout

  3. Our Holy Wells

    Language
    English
    Collector
    John Shanahan
    Informant
    Thomas Lawlor

    Our Holy Wells
    There is a blessed well situated about half a mile from Lisnaw in the townland of Ballinageragh. It is in Mr. Thomas O’Brien’s field which formerly belonged to Patrick Lynch. The field where the well is situated is called the “chapel field.” It is called this because it is said that the Old church of Lisnaw stood there in former days. The ruins of the church and altar may be still seen at the present day. Visits are made to this well on the 29th September each year. People make rounds at it and say certain prayers. A round usually consists of three Rosaries. It is not known if any particular disease is cured by praying at this well. The people who go there do not bathe in it but wash the diseased parts of their body with the water. There is a big bush near the well on which relics and pious objects are left by the visitors. The well is known as Saint Michael’s well, as the church which was near

  4. Our Holy Wells

    Language
    English
    Collector
    John Shanahan
    Informant
    Thomas Lawlor

    the well was dedicated to Saint Michael. I do not know any person who ever took water from the well but I heard an old man saying that a woman once took water from it and that it would not boil for her.
    Near this blessed well is a statue of Saint Michael enclosed in a case made of cement and glass. This statue was erected by Mrs. Dan Quilter, Gortinare, Lisnaw. This woman was cured of a bad form of nervousness. She could not go out or work around the farm, thinking that something would happen to her. One evening, as she was looking out the back-door of her house, she saw a bird of uncommon shape leave the field and alight on a tree near the well.
    Just then the thought struck her that she would pay a visit to the well and do rounds at it. Soon after she visited the well and paid the usual rounds at it. Before a week was finished she was cured of her disease and she was able to do her work around

  5. Our Holy Wells

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Bernadette O' Sullivan
    Informant
    Gerald O Sullivan
    Age
    60

    of each decade they throw one pebble away. Then when the seventh round is paid they kneel down and finish the Rosary. Then they take three drinks out of the well and wash their faces at the stream. Then they usually tie a piece of string on an overhanging bush. It is said that according as the cloth wears away the disease wears off the patient.
    It is called St. Senan's well because it was St. Senan who blessed its waters. From the well you can see the ruins of seven churches and round tower in Scattery built by St. Senan.
    There are no fish in the well and the water is not used for household purposes.

  6. Blessed Wells

    Language
    English
    Collector
    M. Shanahan
    Informant
    Miss Glavin
    Age
    66

    There is a holy well, and close by a burial ground, in the townland of Kilsheanane or Kilsenan about 5 miles west of Listowel on the road to Tralee. Both are called after St. Senan who was Bishop's Abbot of Scattery Island on the Shannon in Co. Clare, in the VI Century. He built many churches and had a monastery on the Island. His feast day falls on the 8th March.
    On that date in former times, people came long distances, even outside of Kerry, to pay rounds at the Blessed Well. It is said to be powerful in many complains but especially in eye trouble, and running sores. At the present day people, principally locals within a five mile radius, come to pay rounds on St Senan's Day 8th March. The path of the "round" follows a well beaten track around the well. The "Round" itself consists of 3 Rosaries, one to be said while walking round the well 3 times, therefore it takes 9 rounds of the well to complete the 3 Rosaries. The round is started by kneeling in front of the well and beginning

  7. Blessed Wells

    Language
    English
    Collector
    M. Shanahan
    Informant
    Miss Glavin
    Age
    66

    altar-like construction built at the back of the well. In this there are three niches, one holding a statue of our Blessed Lady, another a statue of the Sacred Heart and the third a statue of St Bridget, each enclosed in a glass shade.
    Miss Glavin a retired teacher of 66 years of age told me that she often heard her mother (R.I.P.) who lived about 4 miles from the townland of Kilsenane, tell a story of how a Protestant family residing near the well, took some water from the well home to their own house and put it in a pot or kettle to boil, but if it were left over the fire for ever it would not boil. The ancestors of this family were Roman Catholics but in the bad times they turned 'Soupers.'
    Those who came to pay rounds at the well, usually enter the burial ground by the stile and pray for the dead in general and their own deceased relations in particular. This is done on the way and from the well.

  8. Religious Stories

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Patsy O Grady
    Informant
    Mrs O Grady

    When the Holy Family were flying into Egypt pursued by Herod's soldiers they got very tired. Just as the soldiers were approaching them St. Joseph saw a cave. He took Our Blessed Lady and the Divine Infant in in there. Immediately they had gone in a spider spun a great web across the entrance to the cave.
    When the soldiers came along and saw the web they did not search the cave. They thought if the Holy Family had gone in that the web would be broken. So the little Spider saved the

  9. Bird-Lore

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Elizabeth O' Connor
    Collector
    Mary Finucane
    Collector
    Thomas Hanrahan
    Collector
    Eileen Hanrahan
    Informant
    Denis Dunne
    Age
    50
    Informant
    Denis Hanrahan
    Age
    47
    Informant
    Daniel Finucane
    Age
    40
    Informant
    Michael O' Connor
    Age
    50

    went on his breast and that is why it is called robin redbreast. There is a story about our Lord and the robin. When Our Lord was dying on the Cross he asked for a drink and the robin flew up to him and a drop of blood fell on his breast and thats how he got his name. The robin is a blessed bird. He has a red breast and the reason he got it was he rubbed his breast against the wounds of our Lord. If a boy robs a nest he will have sore hands. If boys rob the nest they are told, that the legs and hands will fall of them. There lived a man in Iceland, there was a white bear round the place. This man had a robin as a pet. While the man would stay sleeping the robin would watch the bear. He had a house made of snow and a fire made outside the house. The bear was coming. The man awoke the robin flew up in the sky and when he was flying a sparkle was blown with the wind and burned his breast. They say that's why the robin has the red breast. They say the robin opened the wounds of our Lord's hands and drank the blood that's why he is called robin red-breast. Long ago when Fionn Mac Cumhail was travelling long distances with his two dogs he got tired and he lay down to rest. When he laid

  10. Religious Stories

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Maureen Culhane
    Informant
    Michael Walshe
    Age
    50

    Long ago, when an old person was sick it was night when the priest was nearly always sent for. One night, as a priest was going to a sick person, he saw something inside the ditch of the road. He went to the sick person and he brought a boy from the house with him because he would not pass the place again.
    When they came to the spot the priest was taken from the car and carried inside the ditch. After a while he came out again and he told the boy that a voice spoke and told him, not to come that road alone again.

    Another night, when the priest was called, he had to go to the chapel for the Blessed Sacrament. He took the clerk with him because he was

  11. Long ago when St Patrick lived in Ireland, he had a servant named Duane. He had to go every day to the wood to cut timber for the fire. One day he went to the wood to cut timber. He had a very bad axe. He should sit down to rest after every five or six strokes. After a good while cutting and resting he saw two men coming towards him. They were small men with dark eyes. They stopped to look at him cutting, and they said "His axe is very bad." They gave him a new one that cut the tree with one stroke. He had to promise them to ask St. Patrick in the middle of mass next day. "Who were the people who would never see heaven." Duane was greatly troubled. Next day he went out into the little chapel to hear mass. He said as loud as he could "O Blessed Patrick who are they that can never see heaven." St Patrick answered "The people of the air." When mass was over St Patrick came out to him and asked him why did he ask that question at that

  12. Local Festival Customs

    Language
    English

    There are many customs at festival times in this locality. On the 1st of February the boys of the country gather together and they go from house to house in the evening asking to bury "Biddy". They sing and dance in every house. Long ago the family in every house used place a little heap of rushes on the floor late in the evening. Then every one of the family used take a few rushes and make a cross. The crosses used be blessed a few days after.
    On St. John's Eve the young boys gather together at cross-roads. They gather sticks, turf, and paper. They light a large bon-fire which can be seen for many miles around.
    On November's Eve the boys and girls play many games. They put a sixpence into a tub of water and try to take it out with their mouths. They tie an apple to the ceiling and with their hands behind their backs they try to eat the apple.

  13. Local Forges

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Michael Mulvihill
    Informant
    Michael Mulvihill
    Age
    40

    walls and the one in Tarmon had mud walls. There is only one fire place in each of them. They are partly middle ways in the floor. There are only one bellows in each of them. Dennehy's and Riordan's bellows are worked by handles and Finucanes are worked by something like a handle of a pulper only it being smaller. It is not known when Dennehy's and Riordan's bellows are made but Finucane's bellows was only made a few years ago. The smith uses these implements at his work, an anvil, three kinds of hammers, a pinchers, a file, a rasp, a hack-saw, a knife, a chisel, a thongs, and he has a thing on the top of the anvil to cut the iron. The smith only shoes horses, ponies, jennets, and donkeys. The smith makes harrows, axes, and he prepairs ploughs, spades and motor cars. There is forge works done outside too such as shoeing wheels and prepairing things. It is said that if a smith washes himself in the forge water he will find himself stronger and fresher for it was said that St. Joseph and Blessed Lady was walking along the road and she lost the pin of her mantle and when she met a smith she asked him to make a pin for her and he made it and ever since the smith that washes himself in the forge water finds himself stronger and fresher. The smith never gets gifts.

  14. The Blessed Well

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Hannah Stack

    There is only one blessed well in this district. It is called St. Sinan's well. It is situated in John Buckley's field. The district is caleed Ballintubber which means "The town of the well". Over the well, a tree is growing and on the tree there are pieces of ribbons left by all those who pay rounds. There are three special Saturdays for paying rounds; the Saturday before the 1st of May, the Saturday before the 24th of June and the Saturday before the 14th of September. At each round they say a decade of the Rosary. When they have the rounds paid they pray for a special intention.
    There is a story told about this well. A servant girl took water from the well. She put this water down to boil as she wanted to wash clothes. The water never heated and she could not know what was wrong. At that time the well was

  15. Rattoo

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Mary Sheehy
    Age
    12
    Informant
    Patrick Cownty
    Age
    50

    Tradition tells us those suffering from leprosy in those days would make a pilgrimage from Derrico to Rattoo, on to Ardfert then to Abbeydorney, back again to Ardfert and then to Rattoo where they would wash themselves in the water of one of the blessed wells and the Leprosy would then be healed. One well is called Tubber-na-Lour or the well of the Leper. This well is in a straight line with the corner of the eastern gable of the Abbey and about twenty-two yards out of the North side.

    About fifty years ago this well was covered in with a large flagstone by the orders of Mr. Wilson Gun who was the owner of Rattoo, as too many people were coming to pay rounds there. He also got a drain sunk and shored out from the well so as to dry it of its water, but not one cup of water ever flowed from the well through this drain.

  16. Cures

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Noreen Linane
    Informant
    Mrs C. Barry

    One night a man called Barry went hunting a horse and he broke his leg. He was a long time lying on a settle bed near the fire and was not improving. There was a blessed well on the top of Cnoc an Óir, the name of it was Tobar na Croidhe. His mother took him on her back to this well, she brought home the moss of the well and rubbed it to his leg. She took him three times afterwards, and the third time he could walk it down. It never played on him again.
    His brothr was sewing harness with a straddle needle. When he was pulling it out it stuck in his eye and blood spouted out of it. His mother took him to the same well and rubbed the moss to his

  17. Holy Wells

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Kitty Linane
    Informant
    Mrs Buckley

    17 - 11- '38

    Holy wells
    There is a blessed well near her. They say they obtain a cure for sore eyes by visiting there, and saying the usual prayers for the paying of rounds. The custom is to say three rosaries and go three rounds of the well for every rosary and also you must have good faith in them. It is called 'Tobar na croise'
    They go there for various diseases and drink of the water and bathe the effected parts in it, this is the custom at every well.

  18. Treasure

    Language
    English
    Collector
    James Relihan
    Informant
    Mrs C. Relihan
    Age
    55

    In a certain part of my district there is supposed to be gold buried. The owner of the land is Patrick Galvin of Coolkeragh, Listowel Co. Kerry. There was a building there up to some years ago but it was knocked down and the stones drawn out on the roads. The building was called the "Cone". The walls were built of stone and the mortar was made of blood and hair and sand. There were soldiers living there long ago. People said that there was a lot of gold buried there but that it was at night you should dig for it. One night the Galvins went to dig for the gold. They took holy water with them but they got afraid and ran home. The next night they took a blessed candle with them but again they got afraid and ran. The third night they took nothing with them. When they started digging they heard a bull coming in their direction and he roaring mad. No one ever went digging for the gold since and it is there yet.

    I heard this story from my mother.

  19. Before Christmas the people always clean their houses and get coloured paper to put them all around the house.
    They get coloured candles and they put them on the window-sill until Christmas Night, and then they light them that night.
    Some people leave the door open on that night and they also leave milk or water on the table. The people do that to show that if the Blessed Virgin were passing their door she would be welcome there.
    They say if you stay up all night and watch the milk and water you will be