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  1. Past Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Thomas Lane

    Long ago there was a custom of making colcannon on Hallow Eve night. It used to be called colcannon night. Everyone used to make it, both rich and poor. It was made from potatoes masked up and milk and butter put on it. The farmers used to give their workmen a quart of milk and a pound of butter on Hallow Eve night for the colcannon.

  2. How to Make Colcannon

    Language
    English
    Informant
    Mr John Mc Keon
    Age
    35

    The people made colcannon in the harvest. It is made in this way. First we get a bucket of potatoes. They are then washed clean. After this they are peeled. They are then put in a bucket of clean water and washed again.
    They are put in a pot of clean water and put over the fire to boil. When they are boiled they are taken off the fire. They are then drained. When they are drained they are pounded with a pounder. When the potatoes are well pounded there is new-milk and salt put in them. They are mixed again also. After this the colcannon is lifted up on plates. Then there is a little hole put in the middle of the colcannon. There is a bit of butter put in the hole then. After this it is ready to eating. Colcannon

  3. Amlais Night

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Nellie Walsh

    Last Monday night was Halloween night. It is a great night of fun. All the people look forward to it especially the children and the big boys. It is also called colcannon night or Amlais night. It is called colcannon night because colcannon is used in every house hould that night. It is called halloween night because it is the eve of all saints day. It is called amlais night because the big boys and some times even the girls go gathering alms that night. They dress up in strange attire and go around from house to house gathering alms. They put on masks and dress in bags so that people couldn't know them. They get a bottle and break off the end of it and when they come near a house they blow into the bottle which makes a loud noise just like the bob. Then the woman of th house comes out and give..

  4. Leprechaun Story

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Eileen O' Brien
    Informant
    Mrs Gilmore

    Old Dennis McLoughlin lived in Sheepstown, Delvin and it was a custom of his mothers to leave Colcannon on the fort for the fairies, on a feast night. His mother died and he got a dirty old cook called Kitty Andy. One night he was after serving the fort with colcannon for the fairies, he met a leprecaun. Old Dennis said "Now, me boy, I have you and tell me where I'll get a lot of money. You should tell me where I'll get it and (you) I so good to you leaving out colcannon the whole year for you." Then the leprecaun said "In your mother's time the butter was lovely, but since you got your clotty old servant, I had to turn to wax-end. The hairs that were through it made bristles for my wax-end. "But I'll tell you where you'll get the money. I'll leave a white mushroom beside the fort

  5. Festival Customs

    Language
    English

    at supper. There was always great excitement. The one to find the ring in the colcannon would be soonest married. Nowadays a ring is put in a sweet cake or barm brack instead of colcannon.

  6. Food in Olden Times

    Language
    English

    to remain over the fire to dry. Then salt was added & pounded until the potatoes were fine. Milk (new) was then added, and all pounded well again. Then the Colcannon was put out on plates & eaten with butter. New potatoes are generally used for the making of this Colcannon. It is still made in the area particularly on Hallow Eve for supper.

  7. Halloween Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    D. Mac Kenna
    Age
    12

    The eve of All Saint's day is the thirty-first day of October. It is known as Hallowe'en. On that night people usually remained indoors, as it was believed that ghosts and other spirits roamed about.
    Many customs and superstitions are connected with that day. They have faded away in many parts of Ireland. On that day colcannon is eaten in many houses and a ring is put in it. It is said that the one who gets the ring while eating the colcannon will be married within a year. On Hallowe'en a brack is also eaten, a ring is put in the brack, and it holds the same superstition as the ring in the colcannon. Apples and nuts are also eaten in the night.
    A old superstition is to go out into the garden and pull a head of cabbage when it is dark. If the head is long and crooked your future

  8. Famine Times

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Eileen O' Brien
    Informant
    Mrs Gilmore

    During the famine days times were very bad and everything was very dear. People used go very far looking for work and some used come from afar looking for work.

    There is in James Daly's field in Sheepstown, Delvin heaps of broken stones and a bush beside each heap. People used get four pence a day and their breakfast and dinner and after their day's work they used wait for their supper of stirabout. When times got worse they got their dinner of colcannon and nothing else. Then sometimes they got their choice of sixpence a day and no colcannon. There used to be a big notice up "Sixpence a day and no colcannon. Take your choice".
    Some people used have only one meal a day. This meal would be at eight or nine oclock at night. At this meal they would have some oats wheat or rye boiled together. No one used be seen in daylight for they were afraid to

  9. Local Cookey

    Language
    English

    Colcannon or Callie.
    A very popular dinner for Fridays in most country districts around here. It is made of potatoes, onions boiled milk salt pepper and served with melted butter.
    Wash and peel the potatoes, boil until soft. Peel, and chop the onions very fine. Boil the milk about a quart to a good sized pot of potatoes When the potatoes are boiled strain them dry, then get the pounder and pound add the onions pepper and salt and pound again, then spill in the boiling milk and pound again. Keeping the Colcannon very hot serve on plates making a well in the centre of each helping of colcannon into which the melted butter is poured. It is delicious when properly done and served, but not by any means a satisfying meal.

  10. Food

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Betty Hassett
    Age
    12
    Informant
    Mrs Hassett
    Age
    86

    Food

    In olden times the special food for Hallow Eve was colcannon. First of all the potatoes were washed and peeled and put in a large pot to boil. When they were boiled they were strained and mashed and put on plates on the table. When it was ready the men were called to their supper and they ate the colcannon with large spoons.

  11. Halloween Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Annie Morgan
    Informant
    Michael Conneely
    Age
    50
    Occupation
    road worker

    (i) Colcannon. from the earliest times it has been the custom in this district to make colcannon for Hallow ien. The first plate of this is kept for the fairies lest they should while changing from their Summer residence to their Winter home. No salt should be put on their portion. Colcannon is made on this night also to commemorate the end of the digging of the potatoes.

    (ii) Cabbage. It is an old custom for the young people to kick cabbage around the district on this night. It is also hung on door knobs and door-steps. The reason for this custom is unknown.
    (iii) Moon. On this night if there is a moon people try to determine the time of their marriage by leaving a vessel of water out in the open and by holding a mirror over it. The number of moons one then sees in the water is equal to the number of years until he is married.
    (iv) Nuts. Sitting around the fire on November night, a boy's name is put on one nut and a girl's name on another. They are

  12. The Fool of Rathcroghan

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Thomas Ernest Hanley
    Informant
    John Kelly

    that followed him.
    He then returned home to his hut and he says, Mother, I have a good means of supporting my wife and child now. I have a table cloth and any time you wish for all sorts of eating and drinking you'll have it. Dear son, My heart is sore for a feed of colcannon. How will I dirty my table cloth with your colcannon? but as you wish for it you must have it.
    She made a hearty meal on the colcannon. He felt happy being able to maintain his wife for the year. Another year passed by and there was another young son born. Hallow eve came again and he said he would visit the fort to see what the fairies were doing to-night. There were two men on the piers of the gate or guard again. He asked them what the fairies were doing inside. They said, go along you fool, you have robbed the fairies for the last two years. You have taken the King of Scotland's daughter that we had for a wife for the King, and the table cloth that we had for his support. He drew the whip and knocked them down again. They said don't kill us and we'll

  13. A Story about the Good People

    Language
    English
    Collector
    John Fitzsimmons
    Informant
    Patrick Fitzsimmons
    Age
    54

    A Story about the "Good People."
    In the townland of Cloughbally Lower - parish of Mullagh Co Cavan, barony of Castlerahan lived a family of the name of Costello (Cush-hill-oe) pronounced locally. One Hallow Eve, in the early eighties when the man of the house and his helpers came in from the field where they were digging the potatoes they sat down to dinner. A substantial dish of "colcannon" was placed on a low table on the centre of the floor. On top of the colcannon was a hole into which was placed a large roll of butter. The men seated on stools spaced themselves round the table and each taking up a spoon inserted it in the colcannon and half immersed it in the bowl of liquid butter before swallowing it. This process was repeated until all were filled to satiety.
    When the men returned to their work in the fields the good house-wife set about preparing an appetising supper. Portion of the boiled potatoes not needed for dinner were bruised and mixed with flour, flavoured with salt, wetted with milk and shaped into cakes. These were baked on the pan and left on a dish to cool. These cakes were well soaked in butter which was spread on them while still hot.
    On this evening the men arrived home earlier

  14. Colcannon

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Annie O Reilly
    Informant
    Mary O Reilly
    Age
    50

    Long ago when the new potatoes were not very dry and not good for eating the people made food from them which was called colcannon. They got some potatoes and they washed them clean and peeled them and then they put them in a pot of boiling water and put some salt on them and they boiled them quickly. When they were sufficiently boiled the water was drained off and they were pounded with a little wooden pounder and they put some sweet milk on it and they mixed the whole then each person some of it on a plate and they made a hole in the centre of the colcannon and put some butter in it and they ate it with a spoon.

  15. Boxty

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Peggy Mc Shane
    Informant
    Michael Mc Shane
    Age
    60
    Occupation
    farmer

    People ate vegetables such as cabbage and turnips. Colcannon was eaten. Potatoes were peeled and put into a pot of boiling water. When they were boiled the water was taken off them. Salt was thrown on them. They were pounded with a beetle. Then milk was put on them. They were lifted up on plates and divided round on the people. Each person made a hole in the colcannon and butter was put into the hole. The people ate biestings and they eat them to potatoes. What people ate on Shrove Tuesday was bacon. There was a man named John Murray who are thirty eggs on Easter Sunday. Before cups became common there were wooden noggins.

  16. The Potato Crop

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Anna Lacy
    Informant
    William Lacy

    is then spread on the ridges, and the clay from the furrows shovelled over that. When the buds are about an inch above the clay the furrows are again dug and the clay shovelled over the ridges. This is the last operation, except weeding. When the new potatoes are dug they are often made into colcannon, For this they are peeled, boiled, chopped with a pounder, softened with new milk, flavoured with salt and sometimes with scallions (green onions). The colcannon is served on plates with a small well of melted butter in the middle. Potatoes are also made into boxty bread.

  17. The Way Hallow Eve Was Spent Long Ago

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Patsy Sullivan
    Age
    12
    Informant
    Peter Sullivan
    Age
    60

    Long ago they used all go to the one house, old people and young people. They used to make colcannon or boxty, and put a ring or something else in it. They used to sit all round the table, and the oldest person used to serve the colcannon to the young people. The young boys and girls used to lie on a harrow that night. They used to write their names on pieces of paper, and put them at some lone bush in the middle of a field, and they used to think that the boy's or girl's name that they would be married to would be written opposite their own name. Anyone that knew of another one doing this would go to the bush and write someone's name opposite the boy's or girl's name.

  18. Food in Olden Times

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Patrick Brady
    Informant
    Patrick Brady

    was eaten very sparingly and when it was eaten it usually was salt meat. Certain kinds of food were ate on special occasions. These occasions were Shrove Tuesday, Easter Sunday, and Hollow Eve night. On Shrove Tuesday boxty bread was eaten by the old people and on Hallow Eve colcannon was used. Eggs were eaten on Easter Sunday and it was a custom to gather the egg-shells to decorate the May bush. Colcannon is made by peeling and boiling potatoes. When they were boiled they were mashed with a pot stick and milk and salt was added with them. Then it was ready for use. The first tea used in this district was used about eighty years ago. Before cups became common mugs were used. The earliest drinking vessels were called noggins. They were made of wood and were round in shape with a handle in the side of it.

  19. Festivals and Their Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Julia Farrelly
    Informant
    Mrs Eugene Farrelly

    On HALLOW EVE NIGHT the 31st October apples and nuts and sweet cakes are eaten. On this night the old people were afraid to leave their houses after dark as they believed that all the departed spirits were free to roam about and to come back to the the houses they once inhabited. Colcannon, that is mashed potatoes and butter was eaten also on that night and when going to bed the woman of the house left some colcannon on a plate for the "Good people" as the spirits were called. A lot of tricks was played on this night long alo and some are still played in this district yet. The young men used to