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Transcripts count: 12
  1. An Capall Bán

    Language
    English

    the sacrifice of the horse. The fires which are even yet lighted in some parts of Ireland at particular times and "the bringing of a horse's head to the bonfire" are relics of these ancient Druidic rites, which to judge by the names of places in it, were nowhere more practised than in the district surrounding Ard na hÉireann.

  2. St John's Day

    Language
    English

    1. On St John's Day long ago the old people used to say Seven Rosarys to St John to bring a blessing down on the family.
    2. On the eve of St John's Day bonfires are lighted on the tops of high hills. All the people go to the nearest bonfire, and they sing and dance till the fire burns down.

  3. Proverbs

    Language
    English

    48. It's a primrose way to the everlasting bonfire.
    49. The windy day is not the day of the scollop.
    50 Waste not, want not.

  4. St Brigid's Well Straduff

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Patrick Egan
    Informant
    Daniel Egan

    St. Brigid's well in the townland of Straduff, parish of Milane and Ballinahown Co. Offaly is on the south side of a little green hill and never goes dry.
    At one time it was covered over with sticks. A man took the sticks one bonfire night for the fire but they would not burn. The man died a year later. At another time a man took away the sticks and used them to roof a shed. The animals in the shed died, so he had to put back the sticks over the well again.
    It is believed that the clay of the well cures sore throat, sprains, swollen legs and many other ailments. About three hundred years ago a priest lived about sixty yards from the well and he used to walk round it every day. People used to go to the well for the clay, and to pray to Saint Brigid. There are seven styles, four paths, three car gaps and a cattle pass leading to the well.

  5. The Local Roads

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Maura Kinnearney
    Age
    13
    Informant
    Patrick Kinnearney
    Age
    49

    There is always a bonfire at Tullamore cross-roads every year on the twenty ninth of June.
    There is a stone near our school in Kilmurray where a person was killed whose name was Tom Carroll, Ballycommon. The man that killed was Patrick Coffey, Wood-of-O, Tullamore. The road that the stone is on, leads from Kilmurray to Tullamore cross-roads. They were coming from a threshing and they started fighting and Patrick Coffey took out a knife and stabbed Tom F. Carroll. He lived a short time and then he fell dead. He was brought into Kilmurray school and an inquest was held. The trial was held at Waterford. This accured about forty years ago. The trial lasted for a week. Patrick Coffey was let out without costs.

  6. Stirabout Hollow

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Agnes Daly
    Informant
    Patrick Daly
    Age
    63

    2.

    In olden times there used to be a lot of fairies in Stirabout Hollow, and people used to see them eating stirabout there. There is a big hollow in it. There is also a big round ring where the fairies used to play, and dance.
    One night, a man was coming home from Creevaugh from rambling. It was a late hour and when he came to Stirabout Hollow, he saw a big bonfire on the middle of the road and about twenty little men and women around it, and pegging sticks into it and shouting and laughing at the top of their voices. So the man

  7. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Sadie Daly
    Informant
    Obdt. Chris Daly

    In this district many feasts are observed throughout the year. The principal ones are St Stephens Day, Christmas Day and May-Day.

    In every house games are played by the children on November night. They also have nuts and apples for entertainment. On May Day a bush is made. It is made on the night before MayDay. It is decorated with ribbons and egg-shell.
    On St John's night a bonfire is lit in this district. In most houses a cock is killed on St Martin's night and the blood of the cock is thrown out in the yard. This is said to bring luck as it is said, if you don't kill for St Martin he will kill for himself.
    On St. Stephen's

  8. Festival Customs

    Language
    English

    St Patrick's day

    People wear the Shamrock on St Patrick's day. In years gone by it was usual for the men to "drown the Shamrock" that is to drink heartily in honour of the Shamrock. This custom is not so commonly observed now since the new Licensing laws came in force.
    St John's day
    Bonfires are lighted in the different town lands on St. John's day or St Peter & Pauls day. A dance is carried on around the bonfire until about eleven o'clock. St John was the light of the world and that is said to be the reason why the bonfires are lighted.
    Shrove Tuesday
    Pancakes are eaten for supper Shrove Tuesday. A ring is put in the pancakes and whoever gets it will be the first to be married.
    Ash Wednesday
    The palm of the previous Palm Sunday is burned into ashes in each home on Ash Wednesday morning. The ashes is put on the forehead in the form of a Cross. It is to remind man he is but dust and ashes.

  9. Pishogues

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Annie Lowe

    If cattle are dying on a farmer every year it is lucky to put a goat with them.
    If a person has no luck in setting eggs to hatch it is lucky to get someone else to put down a setting for you.
    Some people would not give away a clucking hen for fear they would give away their luck.
    If a person gets the loan of a clucking hen a henny or two (pers) pence has to be given for her for luck.
    If two people wash in the same water there is sure to be a row but if they spit in the water it will break the charm.
    Some people would not wear green. It is supposed to be unlucky. They say green is for grief and that a suit of black will be worn before the new year is out.
    On bonfire night the 29th of June, everybody who attends, is supposed to bring home a sod and scatter it in their fields to keep diseases from the cattle.
    When a person sees the moon through glass it is supposed to bring bad luck for the month.

  10. Local Place Names

    Language
    Mixed
    Collector
    John Kelly
    Age
    14
    Collector
    Mary Kelly
    Age
    14
    Informant
    Maggie Pillion

    the mounds there is supposed to be a cave.
    The Rock Field. Owned by James Hynes Clonascra. In olden times two Giants had a fight and one of them is supposed to have flung a stone from Clonlyon Castle at the other Giant and it fell in a field in Clonascra. It is therefore called The Rock Field.
    The Dead-mans Hollow. Owned by James Hynes Clonascra. There was a man buried in a hollow in Clonascra long ago.
    Glannien. Owned by Kieran Molloy Hill.
    It is a small field surrounded by hills and in olden times the faries were supposed to be seen there long ago.
    Cupsall. Owned by Kieran Redican. Hill.
    The bottom of Corrac. On Kieran Redican’s farm. Hill.
    The Bonfire Hill. On Kieran Redican’s farm Hill.
    In olden times bonfires were

  11. Holy Wells

    Language
    English

    Holy Wells

    Saint John's Well
    It is situated on Knockbarron hill, in the centre of a wood. There is an ash tree growing right over the well, and about fifty yards from it,is a big rock, on which, it is said, St. John used to pray. St. John is the Patron Saint.
    Every year, from 24th June, which is St. John's day, to 29th, people visit the rock and well. They pray, and on 29th June, they light a bonfire and dance around it.
    The well has no fame for cures or ailments, but it is a custom that people should visit it and pray.
    Long ago, the pilgrims used go on their knees, three times, from the rock to the well, but in late years, they walk slowly, three times, each time, saying three Our Fathers and three Hail Mary.s
    People leave pieces of ribbons and medals, pennies and such little things round about the well, when they make a pilgrimage there.
    Near St. John's Well there is another well, also, the water of which is supposed to cure warts. This well is situated under a poplar tree.

  12. Festival Customs in Birr

    Language
    English

    New Year's Eve: It is said that dirty water or ashes should not be thrown out on New Year's Eve or the luck of the year would be thrown out.

    New Year's Day: If a dark haired man is the first person to enter a house on New Year's Day it is said to be a lucky sign.
    It is said that you should not enter a house empty handed on New Year's Day.
    Money should not be spent on New Year's Day as it is remarked that you will be giving it out throughout the entire year.
    Fresh bread should be brought into the house on New Year's Day.
    St John's Eve: On this night tar barrels are lighted on the Square in Birr. These are used instead of a bonfire.
    St. Brigid's Eve: On St . Brigid's Eve a brown ribbon is tied to the latch of the back door. It is said that St. Brigid blesses it. Afterwards this ribbon is used as a cure for certain diseases.
    St. Patrick's Day. Shamrock is worn by you and old. Harps are worn by the children.