Three Cornered Leek, May 2024


If you’ve ever wondered what the gabhlóg in Baile Gabhlóg (Ballygologue) was. Here is your answer from

Gabhlóg/Gabhaileog – A Forked Stick

Here’s another little Irish word still found in the rural speech of many older people in Wexford (and other counties too). It’s a handy little thing called a gabhlóg/gabhaileog which would be used for holding down briars when cutting them with a billhook or also used to prop up a clothes line. Pronounced ‘goulyogue’ I once heard a story of it being used by a man to describe a PYE TV. He didn’t know the brand of the TV but remembered it was a P, a “Gabhlóg’ and an E. 

I heard it used in other counties too and the image here is of my nighbour Ken Hemmingway showing me this one day. Interesting to point out, here in Wexford many of these old Gaelic words are found right across the rural communities, native Gaelic, Anglo-Normans and Plantation families and everything in between. In fact I find many of the 16th/17th century Plantation families hung onto these old words and sayings more than their Gaelic neighbours. Just an observation as sometimes you get purists with notions about language and who “owns it” and I always like to knock them on their head a bit. Great little word.

Text: Michael Fortune

Remembering Seán McCarthy

Remember Christian and her Ph.D on Thade ‘s hen. Well back home in the U.S Christan is looking through the treasures she bought on her recent trip to Ireland. This is one such gem.

She photographed the reference to Listowel for us.

Seán MacCarthy’s song is included.

You have to Laugh

Mary McAulliffe shared this one on Facebook. I know he is running as an independent but surely someone would have told him before he put them up.

The Marathon

A Fact

A New York tea merchant invented the tea bag …by accident. His name was Thomas Sullivan (Irish? Don’t know)

This is how it came about.

Thomas sent tea samples to his customers in little silk bags. His customers thought that they were to immerse bag and all into the pot to make the tea. When Sullivan heard this, smart boy that he was, he realised he was on to something. He replaced the silk with the cheaper gauze and went into commercial production of teabags in the 1920s. They didn’t become really popular until the 1950s.