In Listowel Town Square in October 2019
Remembering a Tragedy
This story was one I revisited in the book commemorating 100 years of The Irish Examiner.
This is the story as it appeared in the paper in 1926. As I was growing up it was something that was well remembered in folk memory in my part of the country and was spoken of in hushed tones as the greatest tragedy that had happened for a long time.
I wrote about this horror before and below is the link to the story
Piseóga from Lyreacrompane in the Dúchas collection
The Schools’ Folklore Collection is a great anthology of old wisdom and superstitions collected by Irish schoolchildren in the 1930s from their elders.
The children of Lyreacrompane set to collecting old piseoga and superstitions. They were very diligent and they collected a huge number of these. Here are the first few. I hope you love the local idiom and colloquialisms of the children e.g. no. 21
1/5/36 Fuaireas iad so leanas ó Bhorca Ni Dhiolaín, cailín sgoile ais Chlocán-Leiscirt.
1. If you see one magpie in the morning it means to you that you will have bad luck for that day.
2. If you see two magpies it means that you will have good luck for that day.
3. If you see three, it means that you will hear of a marriage during that day.
4. If you see four it means that there is a wake to be held that day.
5. If you see five it means that you will get silver from some friend or find silver lost.
6. If you see six it means that you will get gold lost.
7. If you see seven it means that you will hear a secret that was never told before.
8. If you break a mirror in a house it means that there will be bad luck in that house for seven years.
9. If you spill salt on a table it means bad luck.
10. If you meet a brown haired woman in the morning, it is as well for you to turn home for you will not do your journey that day.
11. If you walk under a ladder it means bad luck.
12. If you open an umbrella in a house it means bad luck.
13. If you find a horse shoe lost on the road you should spit on it and throw it away again and it is supposed to bring you good luck.
14. If you find a rack (a hair comb) or a half-penny lost on the road you should take it and keep it for it is supposed to bring you good luck.
15. If you shake a crane(For hanging pots over an open fire)on a Sunday it is supposed to bring bad luck.
16. If you burn a pack of cards it is supposed to bring bad luck.
17. It is said that you should never give away milk without putting a pinch of salt in it.
18. It is said that if there are three persons with the same Christian name in one house one of them is bound to die.
19. If you meet a hare crossing the road it is a sign of bad luck.
20. It is said that if you cut your nails on a Sunday it is as bad as to eat meat on a Friday.
21. You should never carry a “sup” of milk in a bucket to a well for it is said you will be in want of it after.
22. If you hear a cock crowing at night it is the sign of a death.
23. If you hear dogs crying that is the sign of a death.
24. It is said that you should never interfere with a fort.
25. If you hear a bell in your ear it is the sign of a death.
26. If you see a star falling it is the sign of a soul going to heaven
The Main Altar in St. Mary’s
St. Mary’s Listowel has some beautiful mosaics and stained glass.
Saturday next, October 19 2019, in St. John’s in The Square at 7.30 I will be launching my new book. Elaine Kinsella of Radio Kerry is the special guest and there will be music and readings.