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Transcripts count: 18
  1. It was believed that witches etc,. could take the profit of the milk by taking the dew off the grass on May morning.
    To overcome the power of the witch and to retain the profit of the milk and to prevent disease coming on the cattle, the cows were driven out to the fields on May Day with a hazel stick.
    This custom still is observed by farmers in Redcross district.
    These people do not sell or give milk away to anyone on May-day.

  2. Festival Customs - May Day

    Language
    English
    Collector
    James King

    On May day the people dress up a bush and light candles and call it a May bush. When the candles are burnt out the bush is set afire - it is usually a gorse bush.

  3. Customs - May Day

    Language
    English

    On May Day (1st May) the people in the Fishery or lower part of town strew their door steps with all kinds of early Spring flowers.
    The children are sent specially on the Eve of May to pluck flowers for this custom.
    May bushes (ordinary furze) are brough from the fields on May Day. A tall pole is decorated with them, and set up. The children go from house to house collecting candles which are placed here and there on the lowest bush. Towards evening these candles are lighted and the children, (and up to twenty years ago the adults) dance for several hours round the May Pole.
    A bonfire is made of the bushes at the end of the sport.

  4. Customs and Beliefs

    Language
    English
    Informant
    Mrs Toole

    May Day
    Unlucky to give away milk on May day.
    Unlucky to give away a fire stick to anyone on May day

    Where churning going on and anyone comes in he or she expected to take a hand at the churn or they would be accused of taking the profit.
    Goat's Milk.
    Goat's milk good for weak eyes, people with weak eyes advised to use it in their food and drink every day.
    Goats
    Goats can see the wind. They do not like rain. When rain is coming the goats come home to shelter.
    Horses
    Very sharp sense of smell and can detect anything far off or near long before a human being. They show this by erecting the ears and sniffing the air.
    You can makes friends with a horse even though you are stranger to him by caressing him over the eyes and speaking in a coaxing voice.
    Making friends with dogs & horses.
    You can make friends with a strange dog the same way - close (cover) his eyes with your hand while you speak kindly to him.

  5. The Lore of Certain Days

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Joseph Perkins
    Informant
    Mr Joseph Perkins
    Age
    74

    There are people who consider certain days lucky or unlucky. They have customs attached to certain days also, for instance some people would not begin work on any other day of the week except Friday There are people in this district who would not commence their work until Friday. Even in the spring when the crops were to be sowed they would not start to sow their seed until Friday.
    It is said that one should not lend anything to anyone on May Day because it will take away their luck Wednesday is considered a very lucky day to get married.

  6. Old Beliefs

    Language
    English

    have bad luck for seven years.

    If you wash your face in the dew on May-day you will be beautiful all the year round

  7. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Dot Dolan

    People make pancakes on Shrove Tuesday night. It is called pancake night. Long ago children used to go around on Easter Saturday with a basket looking for eggs. They used to go to every house in the district and the people used to give them eggs.

    The people would not give milk or matches to anyone on May Day. They would not throw out ashes either, because they said it would take all the luck out of the house

  8. Festival Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Mary Darcy

    On St. Stephens Day the boys go out to catch the wren. They dress up in old clothes. When they catch the wren they go from house to house with. At every house they say "The wren, the wren the king of the birds, On St. Stephens Day was caught in the furze." Sometimes the people give them money. They buy cakes and things like that for the money they get for the wren.

    On Hallow-Eve the boys go to the houses with vizards. The people give them apples and money. The smaller children play games such as "Blind man's buff," and games with apples. On May Day the people do not give any mild. They give the people a pint more the night before. They say that it is unlucky to give milk on the first day of May.

  9. May Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Veronica Moore

    There are many customers carried on here on the first of may. Long ago there were farmers called whet stone farmers. They had two cows. On May morning when they were turning out the cows the woman always stood in the door and she gave the cows stroke on the back with a hazel stick hoping she would have good luck with the cows. She never sold milk to anyone on May day.
    They also lit bone fires and put up a May pole and danced and sang round the fires on May eve to welcome May.
    It is said that Motto Stone rolls down to the river every May morning to get a drink and comes back before sunrise.

  10. Buying and Selling

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Robert Mooney
    Informant
    Mrs Mooney

    Shops were not common in old times. People had to go to the nearest towns to make purchases, they had to go by horse and cart or walk. Buying and selling was carried on after Mass and it is carried on still. The articles that were sold were groceries.
    Goods were often given in exchange for potatoes, hay, oats, wheat, turnips, mangolds and labour was given in exchange for goods. The words connected in buying and selling were "boot" and "tick" and some people say "put it on the ledger". I
    It was unlucky to transact business on Whit Monday, pattern days and May day.
    In former times markets

  11. Festival Custom

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Michael Carey

    melodeons and other musical instruments
    They usually carry a bush decorated with ribbons and a wren in a cage hanging to one of the brambles. The people usually give them a small amount of money. In some parts of the neighbourhood they devote the money to charitable purposes and in other places they devote the money to a dance.
    On St Bridgets night we have what is called the "Brideog". On that night boys and grown up men dress odd in old cloths, one of them dress as St Brigid and goes at the head of the Brideog. This crowd usually go into the houses and dance for about five minutes, one of plays a melodeon. The people give the man with the money box a few pence.
    On May Day people light a big bon-fire-they also have a May bush decorated with candle and ribbons, The people used to sing and dance around it. This is a very old custom but it is still carried out in some parts of this neighbourhood.

  12. (no title)

    There is a rock above the town and it is said to have got its name from a man...

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Bridie Hanley
    Informant
    Michael Hanley
    Age
    50

    There is a rock about the town and it is said to have got its name from a man who lived there some hundreds of years ago known by the name of 'Mick the Dandy'. Ever after this rock was called 'The Dandy's rock'.
    The ruined wall is still to be seen. Then a few yards below this (well) there is a well which is about six inches deep.
    Above this well there was a white-thorn bush (the root is to be seen still) and the old people used to hang a strip of rag on this bush on May-day eve and it was believed that anything they wished for they got it.

    Another custom was to rub water which sprung from this well on their foreheads when they were suffering from headaches and it is believed that they were often cured. Even the hottest day in summer this well never runs dry and the water which springs from it is very

  13. Avoca

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Vincent Hargadon
    Informant
    Mr John Tuke
    Age
    73

    themselves in their spare time with free labour. It is called the church of St Brigid and St Patrick.

    The famous tree under which Tom Moore wrote his song "Sweet Vale of Avoca" still stands at the Meetings of the Waters. Only the blind fiddler and his dog are missing who used to play under its shade.
    Mottie stone was once a woman. She did something wrong for which she was turned into a stone. She regains her own form every May day morning when she comes down to drink at the May-hole at the Meetings. Then she returns to the hilltop for another twelve months as the Mottie stone. Up to about twenty years ago the old people always had a May Bush at the Mottie. They used to get a thorn bush and set it up at the stone. The bush would be decoarated with bunches of primroses and other flowers. They would also tie coloured flags and streamers on the bush. They then got a great number of candles and fastened them all over it. At night when all the candles would be lit up the bush was a splendid sight.
    (Mathtí is a holed stone which fact connects it with Pagan rites. - M O'T)

  14. May Customs

    Language
    English
    Collector
    Elizabeth O' Brien

    May customs are not very common around here but they are very common in a lot of other places. No one ever gives or sells milk on May day because they believe that whoever they would give it to would be able to take their butter for the coming year

    People also put a burnt cinder under the churn when they are churning that day because they think that it is very lucky
    Some people say if anyone got up early that morning before sunrise and went to the well and skimmed it and then brought (it) home the water and wash their face in it that they would have a lovely complexion for that year.
    It is also a custom on May Eve that the people light a big bone-fire in the field where the cows are in and when the fire goes out everyone from young to old throw a piece of a burnt stick at each cow.
    Another custom is that people always put a piece of a white thorn tree in the churn when they are churning on

  15. Cures

    Language
    English
    Collector
    James P.J.F. Graham
    Age
    14
    Informant
    (name not given)

    Cures No V
    A local cure for warts is to scoop out a turnip and put salt in it. The juice which the salt draws out is rubbed on the wart. Our Father and three Hail Mary's are the prayers to be said.

    No VI
    There is a famous old well dedicated [to] St Schorlok and the Blessed Virgin the the Parish of Blessington on the farm of Mr. Cary. It is called Schorloks well. This well cures almost anything but chiefly Worms, Tootache and Sore hers. Any prayers will do, but you must have the belief, and hang a cotton rag on the tree that over-shadows it. May day and during the month is the time to visit it.
    These stories of cures were given to me by my mother, to whom they were given by an old woman called Mrs. Byrne, who lived near Blessington.

  16. Old Customs

    Language
    English

    May Day.

    On the 1st of May. The fields, crops and all the animals of the farm are sprinkled with holy water.
    Cows were driven out on the morning with a quicken plant as it was believed to be lucky and keeps their profit from been taken.

    In Glendalough there was a very old custom of holding a pattern on 3rd June St Kevin's day. A crowd of people used to drive to a place called the pattern bank and dance and sing and storytelling. They used spend some time in prayer in honour of St Kevin.

    People used spread rushes in front of the door to welcome a visitor.
    When a cow would calve, and the first milk taken from her, it was given back to her.

    People used to hide their money in an old stocking in the thatch of the houses.

  17. The Pig Charmer

    Language
    English
    Informant
    J. Sutton

    A Mrs F- lived to be a very old woman in the valley of Glencree and died about 30 years ago.
    She reared three or four [?] pigs each year.
    A Mrs R- went down one May day and bought a fine young boneen from her but when she let it 'out' next day it went home again.
    Then Mrs F- had names for all her boneens and one she called 'Darby'. The pig was brought again to Mrs R- and for the third[?] time went home again.
    On this occasion when Mrs R- came for it Mrs F- rubbed the boreen over with a piece of red sacking saying "Go back with them Darby and eat all you can and get big and fat and lazy but never let them kill you 'my pet'.
    This time the pig remained and got big and fat and at last fit to kill.
    September came and preparations were

  18. Lore of Certain Days

    Language
    English

    sitting"
    No one used sell milk on May Day as their profit would be taken.
    Butter was supposed to be taken years ago by other people. witchcraft.

    Long ago you would not be allowed out of a house without taking a turning at churning if the churning was going on, as you might take their profit.
    On the 15th of August people go to a blessed well Lady well. Situated in Ballard Clash Rathdrum. They recite the Rosary there in honour of Our Blessed Lady.
    Sprinkle blood of a hen all round the farmyard on St Martins ever in honour of St Martin.
    Sweep the house with blossoming broom in May & you will sweep the head of the house away.
    Its unlucky to bring in hawthorn to the house.