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A Folklore Survey of County Clare by Thomas Johnson Westropp



1. Cf. the lavandières de nuit, discussed by Sébillot, ‘Le Folk-lore de France,’ Tome iii.

2. Colgan, ‘Vita S. Senani,’ ‘Acta S.S. Hib.’ (March 8).

3. This I suspect to have been really a belated bear, as that formidible beast, whose bones so abound in Clare caverns, perished at an unknown date, leaving his name ‘Mathgamhan,’ or Mahon, to his human enemies, and his remains as his only monument. Certain MacMahons, however, affected to believe that they were Normans originally named Fitz Urse, in the same way as the MacNamaras were supposed to be Mortimers (de Mortuo Mari) by Spenser and others in the time of Elizabeth.

4. An account of a curious episode found in the legend of St. Mochulla, whose ‘Life’ had been lost or taken from Ireland before 1637, has been preserved orally until recent years (see Bunratty infra). The legends of the Armada on the coast, heard by me down to 1878, have been since confirmed by the publication of long forgotten letters. So historical tradition, even under the unfavourable conditions of recent centuries, has kept wonderfully accurate versions of events. The continuity of the schools and families of the hereditary bards and ollamhs favoured still greater accuracy in early times. Ireland had ‘books and philosophers’ in the fourth century, according to Ethicus of Istria (‘Social History of Ireland,’ vol. i., p. 403), and, possibly for the same period before Christianity as the Armada lies behind our own time, history was handed down truly, at least in its broad outlines.

5. ‘Legend of Carn chonaill,’ ‘Dindsenchas,’ ‘Revue Celtique,’ vol. xv. (1894), pp. 478-80.

6. ‘Fort’ in this paper means one of the entrenched residences, (usually circular,) of the early inhabitants. These are called in Irish rath, liss, and dun; the dry stone equivalent is caher.

7. Mish also means an altar in early works. Cf. ‘Tripartite Life of St. Patrick,’ (ed. W. Stokes).

8. Now Inniscaeragh or Mutton Island, Illaunwattle, Inismatail, or Mattle Island, and Carrickaneelwar. The first two are named Iniskereth and Inismatail in a charter of 1216.

9. Colgan, op. cit. (March 8).

10. A romance of about 1750, by Michael Comyn.

11. Crofton Croker, ‘Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland,’ 1825, vol. ii., p. 31, (The Soul Cages).

12. ‘Adventures of the sons of Thorailbh’; see also ‘Ordnance Survey Letters,’ Co. Clare, Killballyowen Parish, (MS., R.I. Academy).

13. I.e. lost so far as I know. Many names supposed to be lost prove, however, still to exist, especially amongst old persons, but should never be asked for directly, as the demand usually creates the supply. This precaution is too little heeded by enquirers in Ireland.

14. Given by Dr. George U. MacNamara in ‘The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland,’ vol. xxxi., p. 212.

15. Its curious and unusual changes of colour give it the reputation of enchantment.

16. ‘Analecta Bollandiana’, xvii., p. 135.

17. H. O’Grady, ‘Silva Gadelica’, vol. ii.

18. It stills exists, though marked only ‘site of’ in the new Ordnance Survey maps.

19. ‘Wars of the Gaedhil with the Gaill’ (Ed. Dr. Todd, Rolls Series).

20. Cf. ‘Revue Archéologique’, N.S., vol. xviii. (1868), p. 1; Sir Samuel Ferguson’s paper, from the Irish point of view, in ‘Dublin University Magazine’, Oct. 1834, p. 463; W. M. Hennessy, ‘The War Goddess of the Anicent Irish,’ ‘Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy’, vol. x., p. 425.

21. Mss., Royal Irish Academy, 23. M. 47.

22. As yet only in manuscript,—one copy of A.D. 1509, and another probably from one of 1449. For its age see ‘Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy’, vol. xxxvii., p. 139.

23. I have to thank Mr. Standish Hayes O’Grady for this and other extracts from the work, the translations in the library of the Royal Irish Academy being, (it is understood), very crude.

24. Another ‘washer of the ford’ appears in ‘Da Choca’s Hostel’, ‘Revue Celtique,’ vol. xxi. (1900), p. 157, and she is also a Bodbh.

25. Told me by Prof. Brian O’Looney in 1890, and I have heard more recently of the existence of the belief.

26. Loc. cit., [‘Memoirs of Lady Fanshawe’, 1830] pp. 83-6.

27. Among families with banshees, Thomas Crofton Croker (op. cit., ed. 1862, p. 115,) names old Englishry such as the Burkes, Rices, Husseys (the Norman, not the Gaelic, name), Trants, and Keatings. The FitzGeralds of Kerry and Limerick had also a banshee. Of the Clare families the Westropps came from Yorkshire, the Stamers from Essex, and the Lewins probably from Durham. Some banshees may have been acquired by marriage, for the three latter families were related to O’Briens, MacNamaras, and O’Gradys, to name only a part of their Celtic connections.

28. Told to Dr. G. U. MacNamara at Caherminane and Corofin.

29. By Mrs. and Miss Neville and Miss G. C. Stacpoole of Newmarket.

30. Cf. ‘Irish Folklore from Cavan, Meath, Kerry, and Limerick,’ vol. xix., pp. 320-1; vol. x., p. 119.

31. Is not the death coach, and not the Hellequin, the ‘hell waine’ of Reginald Scot’s list of spirits in ‘The discouerie of witchcraft’, Bk. vii., cap. xv.?

32. Cf. Herefordshire belief about corpse candles.

33. The late Capt. Ralph Westropp of Coolreagh (in 1879), and the late Mrs. Wilme and Mrs. Pitcairn, whose fathers were present.

34. From Mr. R. Twigge, F.S.A., whose wife is a daughter of the House of Ennistymon.

35. ‘Revue Celtique’, vol. xv., p. 441.

36. Told to Dr. G. U. MacNamara about 1907.

37. Not Doonmeeve as on the Ordnance Survey maps.

38. Told to Miss Diana Parkinson. I heard it locally, but more vaguely, in 1907.

39. Local traditions, 1904, 1908.

40. ‘Cath Finntraga’ (ed. Kuno Meyer), p. 15.

41. Mss. Royal Irish Academy, 23. M. 47.

42. Ibid. 23. K. 10.

43. It was certainly not the darker belief that in Scotland dedicated an offering to the one called euphemistically ‘The Goodman,’ nor like the sheaf sometimes dedicated to Brigit and other saints in West Munster, or, indeed, in other parts of Ireland.

44. Collected by Miss Katherine Neville. The sprite was, of course, proved not to be a leprechaun, as that being can be held by the eye alone.

45. Apart from Lon, at Slievnaglasha, and the ‘hags.’

46. Misfortune was foretold by great waves at four spots on the Irish coast, to which later belief added a fifth at Malbay in Clare.

47. ‘Fairy Legends of the South of Ireland’, Part II. (1828), p. 24.

48. ‘The Dind Senchas,’ ‘Revue Celtique’, vol. xv. (1894), p. 456.

49. ‘Ordnance Survey Letters’, (Co. Clare), vol. ii., p. III.

50. Op. cit., Part II. (1828), pp. 30-58 (‘The Soul Cages’).

51. ‘Ordnance Survey Letters’, (Co. Clare), vol i,. pp. 370 et seq.

52. This is the Church of St. Mary near the Round Tower.

53. Told by an old peasant of his grandfather, ‘Dublin University Magazine,’ vol. viii. [recte vol. xviii.], (1841), p. 548. The same person one moonlight night saw a dim figure making signs, and, following it, found his cow with her legs firmly fixed in a hole and in great danger.

54. See [drawing] and the figures in ‘Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland’, vol. xxiv., pp. 27, 33.

55. From two residents at Moveen in 1908.

56. Alluded to by Crofton Croker in ‘Florry Cantillon’s Funeral,’ op. cit., Part II. (1828), p. 23. I heard it locally in 1892.

57. So Mrs. Stamer in 1881.

58. Their ghostly appearances riding through Moyarta, and their plunging into the Shannon, are alluded to in 1816. Cf. Mason, ‘Parochial Survey,’ vol. ii., p. 430.

59. So Mrs. Twigge.

60. So Dr. G. U. MacNamara.

61. So Mrs. MacDonnell.

62. Except that skeletons, and, it is said, crucifixes, were found in the garden just beside the house.

63. So Mrs. O’Callaghan of Maryfort.

64. So the late Mrs. Spaight of Affock.

65. Op. cit., p. 115.

66. ‘Revue Celtique’, vol. xxi., p. 54.

67. ‘Wars of the Gaedhil with the Gaill’ (ed. Dr. Todd, Rolls Series), p. 187. This curious and bombastic panegyric proves statistically that the valour of Murchad was 1/16867th part of that of Hector of Troy, who was seven times more valiant than the Tuatha Dé Danann god Lug-long-hand.

68. The Normans held similar beliefs. Giraldus Cambrensis gives an account of spectral apparitions in a fort during the conquest of Leinster.

69. ‘Transactions of the Ossianic Society,’ vol. vi.; cf. vol. ii., p. 58.

70. Prose Life of St. Senanus, Colgan, ‘Acta S. Hib.,’ under March 8th, Section xxxviii. See also Wh. Stokes, ‘Lives of the Irish Saints from the Book of Lismore’.

71. O’Curry, ‘Manners and Customs of the Ancient Irish,’ vol. iii., p. 322; ‘The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland,’ vol. xxix., p. 249.

72. P. 64 (ed. ‘Irish Texts Society’). However, if the animal was common in the literary period, one might expect that the Life of King David would have suggested an Irish counterpart to the monks. Fights with the wolf are practically absent from Irish tales, and it seems safer to regard the identity with the bear of the badger ‘as big as a cow’ as a mere speculation.

73. So Dr. G. U. MacNamara.

74. Windele, ‘Topographical MS.’ (Royal Irish Academy), p. 3; ‘Ordnance Survey Letters’ (Co. Clare), vol. i., p. 350.

75. Ante.

76. The Mata, a giant, many-legged, and carapaced monster, infested the Boyne valley, and left a pyramid of its bones in the cemetery of Brugh. See ‘Dindsenchas,’ ‘Revue Celtique,’ vol. xv. (1894), pp. 292, 329.

77. ‘Ordnance Survey Letters’ (Co. Clare), vol. i., p. 309.

78. Translated by S. H. O’Grady in ‘Silva Gadelica,’ vol. ii., pp. 101-265.

79. So the late Ralph Hugh Westropp and Mrs. Stamer.

80. The late Hugh Massy Westropp heard this from the farmer.

81. So Capt. Hibbert.

82. I think Lough Breeda, east from Tulla, and Clonlea Lake were intended. I am to blame for not making a note at the time, but was only interested in the legend. My notes only begin in 1878, though embodying earlier matter, and are too often ‘car notes’ from drivers and others and not properly located. Where possible, I re-examined them from 1892 upwards.

83. In the ‘Agallamh,’ ‘Silva Gadelica,’ vol. ii., p. 126.

84. So the late Sir Hugh Dillon Massy at Doonass.

85. So Mrs. O’Shea at Clorane, Limerick.

86. Cf. similar English belief as regards the devil.

87. So the late Capt. Ralph Westropp, from Mr. Drew.

88. ‘Ordnance Survey Letters’, (Co. Clare), vol. i., p. 236; cf. Gough, ‘Camden,’ vol. iv., p. 366.

89. So the MacDonnells and a driver named Russell. ‘Robin’ lived in the early eighteenth century.

90. So Mrs. Twigge.

91. My mother in her diary notes,—‘Drove home through several floods, the worst at Bunratty. . . . Saw the phantom dog at Cratloe.’

92. So the late Hugh Massy Westropp.

93. ‘Ordnance Survey Letters,’ (Co. Clare), vol. i., p. 236.

94. ‘Voyage of the Hui Corra,’ ‘Revue Celtique,’ vol. xiv. (1893), p. 37; ‘Voyage of Bran,’ (ed. Kuno Meyer), vol. i., p. 12; ‘Voyage of Maelduin,’ ‘Revue Celtique,’ vol. ix. (1888), p. 45.

95. ‘Voyage of Bran,’ vol. i., p. 14.

96. It is marked on a series of ancient maps from the fifteenth to the middle of the seventeenth centuries.

97. ‘Grolla an fhinga,’ (Irish Texts Society, vol. i.), p. 21.

98. Annals of Ulster, Clonmacnoise, and the Four Masters; ‘Ordnance Survey Letters,’ (Co. Clare), vol. i., p. 304.

99. ‘The Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy,’ ser. ii., vol. i. (1872), pp. 269 et seq.

100. ‘Monks of Kilcrea.’

101. ‘Ordnance Survey Letters,’ (Co. Clare) vol. i., pp. 300-4; ‘Handbook to Lisdoonvarna’ (1896), p. 64; ‘The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland,’ vol. xxx., p. 289; ‘Journal of the Limerick Field Club,’ vol. iii., p. 197, where I have collected the materials at some length. Other sunken monasteries and churches are alleged at Monaster Letteragh, off the coast of Mayo, and the Cantillons' Church in Ballyheigue Bay in Kerry. I do not regard the story in the ‘Irish Penny Journal,’ vol. i., p. 362, by J. Geraghty MacTeague, as anything but a work of fiction; it is very artificial, following other romances, and contradicting the genuine legends in several particulars.

102. ‘Mason’s Parochial Survey,’ vol. ii., p. 490, collected by Rev. J. Graham from the Behanes, Landers, Contis, and Coonerties of Kilrush and Carrigholt; Mr. and Mrs. S. Hall, ‘Ireland: Its Scenery etc.,’ vol. ii., p. 436.

103. ‘Ordnance Survey Letters’ (Co. Clare), vol. ii.

104. ‘Lays and Legends of Thomond,’ pp. 13, 20.

105. ‘Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy,’ vol. v., ser. iii., p. 362.

106. This rite is referred to by Sir Samuel Ferguson in ‘Lays of the Western Gael,’- ‘Daily in the mystic ring they turned the maledictive stones,’ (‘Burial of King Cormac’).

107. ‘The Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy,’ vol. xxxi, pp. 318-9.

108. ‘Limerick Field Club Journal,’ vol. ii, pp. 219-220.

109. George Westropp of Quinsborough.

110. Part of Kilkerin was mortgaged to Mountfort Westropp late in 1671, and he seems to have purchased it before the end of 1672, and owned it in 1674.

111. This was told to me in 1885, and I did not note the name. I find a ‘thunderbolt or head of spear’ named in a Ms. ‘Journey to Kerry’ (1709) in Trinity College, Dublin, and the belief in the fairy origin of such objects is universal in Clare; stone spindle whorls are reputed ‘fairy querns.’

112. ‘Transactions of the Royal Historical and Archæological Association of Ireland’ (now ‘Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland’), vol. viii. consec. (N.S. v.), p. 189.

113. Newmarket can be located on the parish map, (vol. xxi., p. 180), as at Kilnasoola, to the east of the Fergus estuary. The local Irish name of the village is now, as in the early fourteenth century, Corrasoola.

114. The main wing was built by George W. Stacpoole circa 1795-1810.

115. ‘The Ulster Journal of Archæology,’ O.S. vol. i. (1853), p. 146.

116. I have been told by the late Sir T. Drew and by several builders of the discovery of cats’ bodies apparently enclosed alive in recesses.

117. In pagan Ireland the custom of burial alive is said to have existed, e.g. Cairbre Niafer, son of Ross, buried a free hostage alive, (‘Dindsenchas,’ ‘Revue Celtique,’ vol. xv, pp. 319-20).

118. For these two cases much information has been collected by O’Donovan in the ‘Genealogies, Tribes, and Customs of Hy Fiachrach,’ (Irish Archaeological Society, 1844), and Annotations of Tirechan in the ‘Book of Armagh,’ f 10 a 2; for Laoghaire see G. Petrie, ‘Tara Hill,’ p. 170 (from ‘Leabhar na h Uidhre,’ f 76).

119. Skeletons were discovered on Iniskea Island laid with their faces downwards and with ashes at their feet. (‘Ordnance Survey Letters,’ (Co. Mayo), pp. 207-8.)

120. I.e. Dabhach na m brathár, or Friar’s Vat. See sketch by Miss G. C. Stacpoole.

121. One at the site of a destroyed and forgotten church.

122. The spurge, the small variety of which is called the ‘Five Sisters’ in Co. Limerick, but not, I believe, in Co. Clare.

123. So Mrs. Connors at Fortanne.

124. So Dr. G. MacNamara.

125. So Mrs. O’Callaghan and Margaret Molony.

126. I mentioned the cure used in the old tale of ‘Rose Moan,’ and was told it prevailed in Clare, but have never had the statement confirmed.

127. A fine high cross of probably late in the eleventh century. Three of its sides are shown in Plate XIV, vol. xxi., p. 340.

128. So commonly told by the older folk at Tullycommaun.

129. See MS. Rawlinson, B 512.f 108.b2. St. Martin conferred the tonsure on St. Patrick, in recognition of which the latter gave him a pig for every monk on the eve of his feast. The origin of the Michaelmas sheep and Michael’s portion in Ireland is given similarly by the Rev. G. Keating in his ‘History of Ireland’ (middle of seventeenth century), Bk. ii. sec. iv.

130. So the Molony family of Coolreagh townland.

131. ‘Vita S. Deglani’ (13th cent.), ‘Bollandists’ Tome V, under July 24.

132. A long list of these beliefs can be collected from Hely Dutton’s ‘Statistical Survey of the County Clare’ (1808), p. 306, the excellent letter of 1816 on Kilrush Parish by its curate, Rev. Jas. Graham, in Mason’s ‘Parochial Survey,’ vol. ii, p. 433, and S.F. (Samuel Ferguson) in ‘Dublin University Magazine,’ vol. xviii. (1816) [recte (1841)], pp. 547-9. I heard many of the beliefs in 1875 and 1878 from the fishermen at Scattery and Kilkee.

133. So Dr. G. U. MacNamara.

134. ‘Dublin University Magazine,’ vol. xvii. (1841), p. 360.

135. So Dr. Macnamara and others.

136. ‘Scratch it in wood, and it will come good,’ says a rhyme.

137. Practised near Tulla, and resulting in some cases in great ill-will.

138. Edited by John O’Donovan, 1847, pp. 16-21.

139. Mason’s ‘Parochial Survey’ (1816), vol. ii.

140. A somewhat similar wren’s cage has been procured for the National Museum, Dublin.

141. Aenach was not merely a fair, but an assembly for merrymaking, consultation, etc.

142. E.g., in the ‘Tripartite Life,’ ed. W. Stokes, among the early ‘annotations’ of Tirechan.

143. Mason’s ‘Parochial Survey,’ vol. ii., under Kilrush Parish.

144. Library of the Royal Irish Academy, Mss. 14B 23. 24, (Co. Clare), vols. i. and ii.

145. ‘Ordnance Survey Letters,’ (Co. Clare), vol. i., p. 183.

146. So Mrs. Connors at Fortanne.

147. Pronounced Ooght-máw-ma. It is a weird spot with three ancient churches in a grassy basin on the flank of a terraced hill of bare grey limestone.

148. Windele, Mss. Royal Irish Academy; Borlase, ‘Dolmens of Ireland,’ vol. iii., pp. 765-9.

149. ‘Propugnaculum Catholicæ Fidei,’ 1665.

150. Cf. view of well and its offerings, ‘Proceedings of Royal Irish Academy,’ Ser. iii., vol. iv., p. 87.

151. St. Cannara, buried on the strand as the saint would not permit her to land on the island.

152. Knocknanangle to the south of the cathedral.

153. Lacht

154. No woman dared approach, and still less enter, St. Senan’s church, the most northern of the group. For a description and plan see ‘The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland,’ vol. xxvii., pp. 276-89. ‘S.F.’ says, (‘The Dublin University Magazine,’ vol. xviii., p. 547), that no woman dares to approach the Lady’s Well.

155. Mason’s ‘Parochial Survey,’ vol. ii., p. 459, under Kilrush parish.

156. The summer pattern on St. John’s Day still attracts a fair number of devotees, but seems to have no very exceptional feature.

157. ‘Limerick Field Club Journal,’ vol. iii., p. 15.

158. Moyasta and Moyarta (Moyfertagh) are at opposite ends of the parish of the latter name.

159. An excellent account, with a photograph of the ‘altar’ and ‘cross,’ was published by Dr. George U. MacNamara in the ‘Limerick Field Club Journal,’ vol. ii., p. 217.

160. It was exhibited in Dublin in 1853 by a Mr. John Cooke, and sold to the British Museum. There is no local tradition attached to it.

161. ‘Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy,’ ‘Calendar of Oengus,’ (early ninth century, ed. Whitley Stokes), under Dec. 13, p. 182; also published by Henry Bradshaw Society.

162. ‘Cathreim Thoirdhealbhaigh;’— ‘Tullach nan espoc sanctified by bell and previous mass, by relic, gold-enshrined, by rare piety and notable miracles.’

163. An illustration of this was published by Vallancey in 1770. See Mr. Geo. Coffey’s ‘Guide to the Christian Antiquities in the Collection of the Royal Irish Academy,’ pp. 53-4, 60-2, and for the croziers of Dyset and Rath and bell of Rath, ‘The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland,’ vol. xxiv., pp. 337-9.

164. ‘The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland,’ vol. xxx., pp. 237-44.

165. Much of this information came from Mr. Marcus Keane of Beechpark, the present possessor, and the remainder from ‘J.R.S.A.I.,’ vol. xxvii., pp. 276-89.

166. Boulavaun (white milking ground), Boolinrudda (red place), Boolinduff (black), Boulynamiscaun (of the dish), and Boulynagreana (sunny) at Callan; Booltiagh, Boolybrien, Boolynagleeragh (of the clergy), Boolyknockaun, Boolyneaska (of the eels), and Cloonbooley in Kilmaley; Boultiaghdine in Kilnaboy, (but the inhabitants say that Booltiagh means ‘mired by cattle’ not ‘milking place’); Boulynanweela (of sea-gulls) in Kilmihil; Booltydoolan in Killadysert; and Booleevin (pleasant) in Kilkeedy. In east Clare the name is rare, Boolynacausk (of the Easter sports), in Slieve Bernagh, being the only one known to me.

167. ‘The Journal of the Limerick Field Club,’ vol. ii.

168. ‘Ordnance Survey Letters,’ (Co. Clare), vol. i., p. 161.

169. Hely Dutton, ‘Statistical Survey of the County of Clare,’ p. 359. The smith was a magician amongst the Irish, and the ancient ‘St. Patrick's Lorica’ prays against the spells of ‘smiths, women, and druids.’

170. So told to me by the late Hugh Massy Westropp, who, as nearest magistrate, had to intervene to keep the peace on more than one occasion, and was called up to the well on one May Eve.

171. ‘Folk-Lore,’ vol. xxi., pp. 195-6, as told by the late Miss W. Westropp of Fortanne.

172. So late Mrs. Stacpoole of Edenvale.

173. As in most of my recollections of folk-tales heard before 1876, the details are forgotten.

174. So in Aed Baclamp from the ‘Book of Lismore,’ (‘Silva Gadelica,’ vol. ii., p. 72), St. Brendan changes 50 seals into horses, which carry into the sea their riders, who, on reaching it, are, like their steeds, changed into seals.

175. ‘Folk-Lore,’ vol. xxi., p. 342. Mrs. Dorothea Townshend of Oxford calls my attention to the probability that this story was made up by Dr. Keightley (v. App. to his ‘Fairy Mythology’). In my original Ms. I expressed great doubt as to this story, having found no equivalent to it near Dunbeg or Kilkee, but this was unfortunately omitted in publication. The Miltown mermaid was probably one of the white seals occasionally seen on the coast.

176. I.e. Dobharchu, water-hound. The Irish called the wolf fael-chu (wild hound) and cu allaid, and the marten crann chu (branch hound). The more common name for the wolf in Clare is breagh, as in Breaghva and Breffy, the name of several townlands. The other wolf name Mac Tire (son of the country), is attached to Knockaunvicteera hill near Lisdoonvarna (where it refers to the animal), and to Cahermactire, a fort near Inchiquin Hill; at the latter place it may refer to a person, as the name Mac Tire is found in various annals.

177. ‘Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy,’ vol. xxiv., p. 94.

178. ‘Silva Gadelica,’ vol. ii., p. 176. Antlers over six feet long have been found in Clare, and there is a fine single antler 6 ft. 2 in. long at Violet Hill, Broadford.

179. ‘Revue Celtique,’ vol. xiii., p. 47.

180. ‘The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland,’ vol. xl., p. 245.

181. Mrs. O’Callaghan of Maryfort and others.

182. Late Hugh Massy Westropp.

183. Mrs. M. MacCormick.

184. ‘Dublin University Magazine,’ vol. xviii., p. 546.

185. ‘Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy,’ vol. x.; ‘Revue Celtique,’ vol. i.; Joyce, ‘Social History of Ireland,’ vol. i., p. 267.

186. Hely Dutton, ‘Statistical Survey of the County of Clare’ (1808), pp. 228-229.

187. Canon Dwyer, ‘Diocese of Killaloe,’ p. 503, writes unsympathetically about this touching faith of the poor fishers.

188. Mrs. Eliza Egan; see ante, p. 51.

189. I have heard an almost identical story told among my mother’s relatives as happening in Lancashire. [The belief in ‘animals in people’s insides’ is almost universal in the British Isles; for example see N. & Q., 1st S., vol. vi., pp. 221, 338, 466, vol. ix., pp. 29, 84, 276, 523; 6th S., vol. i., pp. 311, 392; 9th S., vol. vii., pp. 222, 332, 390, vol. viii., pp. 89, 346, vol. xi., p. 467, vol. xii., pp. 414, 471; ‘Folk-Lore,’ vol. x., p. 251; ‘British Medical Journal,’ 1906; and many newspaper paragraphs, such as one in ‘Morning Leader,’ June 3, 1908. I have heard the tale told in London with a large community of cockroaches as the tenants.—Ed.]

190. So the late Michael Hazelton, an astrologer and herb doctor near Limerick.

191. So Mrs. O’Callaghan.

192. So Capt. Hibbert of Woodpark. A similar tale is told about about toads by Giraldus Cambrensis, ‘Itinerary in Wales,’ cap. ii.

193. In Ulster the ‘connach worm’ replaces the beetle. The tale says that men were sowing a corn-field when Our Lord and the faithful disciples passed, and that He told the sowers to inform His pursuers that they had last seen Him when they were sowing. The corn at once sprang into ear, and the pursuers, on getting the answer to their enquiry, were turning back when the worm cried out that the seed had only just been sown. The Ulster tale was collected by Mr. W. F. de Vismes Kane, D.L., of Monaghan. In Clare Island (Mayo) Mr. N. Colgan found a similar tale told of St. Patrick and his enemies.

194. Michael Griffin, gardener at Attyflin, about 1875. My late brother, Hugh Massy Westropp, heard a similar tale near Glenomera.

195. So I heard frequently from people in Patrickswell, and Michael Hazelton, about the pennywort on Carrigogunnell Castle, and also from a woman of the district between Sixmilebridge and Bunratty.

196. The details are needless. Cheap polemical pamphlets have familiarized the people with this queen’s tragedy. I recall an assult case, about 1890, in which one woman had called another ‘ye ould Anne Bulling’ and been beaten for the gross insult.

197. Mss. Royal Irish Academy, 23, G 5.

198. Mrs. Mullins at Maryfort Lodge.

199. Cf. ‘The Tripartite Life of St. Patrick’ (ed. W. Stokes, Rolls Ser.), p. 405.

200. Colgan, ‘Acta SS. Hibernia.’

201. ‘Ordnance Survey Letters’ (Co. Clare), vol. i., p. 100 (Ms. Royal Irish Academy).

202. ‘Ordnance Survey Letters’ (Co. Clare), vol. i., p. 100 [recte 68-70]. I gave the legend in ‘The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland,’ vol. xxv., p. 227, and it is still told in the locality.

203. From Messrs. Kelleher and Hilary of Oughtdarra, to whose kindness and local knowledge I am much indebted. Cf. ‘The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland,’ vol. xxxv., p. 346.

204. St. Cannara, buried on the strand as the saint would not permit her to land on the island.

205. ‘Ordnance Survey Letters’ (Co. Clare), vol. i., p. 50 [recte p. 144]. A similar legend occurs in the ‘Book of Lecan.’

206. ‘The Battle of Magh Leana,’ p. 30 (notes). The legend was still surviving at Ballysheen in 1899.

207. ‘The Journal of the Royal Historical and Archaeological Society,’ vol. viii. (1864), p. 360. The cock legend is often represented on tombstones etc., and appears at Ennis Abbey (1460). In a version gathered by me in eastern Limerick, the cock says,— ‘I’m only a cock, and you’re an apostle; but I’m the better gentleman any day!’ In ‘The Tripartite Life of St. Patrick,’ p. 415, the Angel Victor in the form of a bird leaves footmarks on a stone.

208. So told me by Shaneen (Little John) O’Halloran at Edenvale in 1869 and later.

209. This cave was famous in the eighteenth century for throwing out floods of water full of fish—(cf. inter alia, Gough’s ‘Camden’),—and this is remembered traditionally, although the floods have been rare and insignificant since 1833. Other similar phenomena are recorded in the Irish Annals; e.g. in the Ulster Annals in 759 ‘Bennmuilt poured forth a stream with fishes,’ and in 867 ‘a strange eruption of water from Sliabh Cualann with little black fishes.’

210. ‘Folk-Lore,’ vol. xxi., pp. 180, 183, 479. The Faracat, according to ‘The Adventures of the Three Sons of Thorailbh,’ was a monstrous cat having a crescent on its forehead and a sharp nail in its tail.

211. In fact, the Westropps, Drews, and Patersons acted as trustees under friendly ‘Protestant discoveries’ to preserve the properties of the O’Briens, Macnamaras, and Barretts from the hostile effect of the laws, c. 1730-90.

212. Corcomroe legend, given to me by the late Prof. Brian O’Looney.

213. ‘Statistical Survey of the County of Clare,’ p. 318. On the Continent indecent names and legends are also attached to dolmens; cf. Borlase, Dolmens of Ireland, vol. ii., p. 555; vol. iii., p. 845.

214. Messrs. Hilary and Kelleher of Oughtdarra.

215. So among the inhabitants in 1896-9.

216. Told to me by the sufferer. His predecessor, who had overthrown some blocks, was also unlucky. Cf. ‘The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland,’ vol. xxxv., p. 212.

217. ‘Folk-Lore,’ vol. xxi., pp. 183, 186, and the legend of Knocknafearbreaga on p. 185; ‘Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy,’ vol. xxiv. (c), p. 97, vol. xxvi. (c), p. 471.

218. Com-fhod is also a synonym for a grave.

219. Dr. G. U. MacNamara. A liagaun of equal length to the slain son of the Dagda was claimed as an eric by the victim’s father, ‘Dind Senchas’, ‘Revue Celtique,’ vol. xvi., p. 42.

220. ‘Analecta Bollandiana,’ vol. xvii.; ‘The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland,’ vol. xli., p. 9. The basin was filled with milk by a hind. Similar legends are found in Glendalough (County Wicklow) and elsewhere. Giraldus tells how a hollow stone at Skellig used to be filled with wine for the sacrament.

221. ‘Folk-Lore,’ vol. xxii., Plate IV. The name is Killian on the map, but is pronounced Kyle-e-aan, with a long stress on the last syllable.

222. ‘The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland,’ vol. xxvii., p. 79, vol. xxxiv., pp. 190-1.

223. ‘The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland,’ vol. xxxv., p. 345.

224. ‘Feis tighe chonain.’

225. ‘The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland,’ vol. xxxviii., p. 351.

226. Ibid., vol. xxiii., p. 281; ‘Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy,’ vol. xxvii., pp. 218 et seq.

227. ‘The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland,’ vol. xxxv., p. 346.

228. ‘Ordnance Survey Letters’ (Co. Clare), vol. i., p. 205.

229. ‘Ordnance Survey Letters’ (Co. Clare), vol. i., p. 157. The tale closely resembles a legend of St. Caimin of Iniscaltra and Guaire Aidhne at Iniscaltra, Lough Derg.

230. ‘A Short Tour etc.,’ p. 21.

231. Poem on Shannon, ‘Ordnance Survey Letters’ (Co. Clare), vol. ii., pp. 15-8.

232. Ibid., p. 18. The same tale is told of St. Declan and the beautiful perfect round tower of Ardmore, County Waterford.

233. ‘Folk-Lore,’ vol. xxii., p. 336; ‘Ordnance Survey Letters’ (Co. Clare), vol. i., p. 144.

234. ‘Folk-Lore,’ vol. xxii., pp. 57, 456.

235. The fall of an angel not long before the death of the late Lord Inchiquin greatly strengthened the belief.

236. In the will of the last recognised King of Thomond, Murrogh, Earl of Thomond.

237. ‘The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland,’ vol. xxvi., p. 368.

238. ‘The Journal of the Limerick Field Club,’ [vol. 1] Part 4, p. 42.

239. Cf. the well-known story of the Swaffham tinker and London Bridge.

240. I heard this tale, perhaps in 1870, from John O’Halloran at Edenvale near Ennis, about the Crowes. Certainly that family (MacEnchroe’s) has a hawthorn bush in its armorial bearings, and the motto ‘Skagh M’Enchroe.’ Dr. MacNamara conjectures that Flann’s surname was really MacEnchroe.

241. For a list, with notes, see ‘Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy,’ vol. vi., ser. iii., p. 129.

242. Kilcashen, ‘Ordnance Survey Letters’ (Co. Clare), vol. i, p. 369.

243. A saint famous all round Galway Bay, but not found in the ancient Calendars. Some suppose him to be a Fox Hero, i.e. Sinnach mac Dara, Fox son of oak tree. There is a Knockaunatinnagh (little hill of the foxes) beside his church.

244. ‘Dublin University Magazine,’ vol. xviii. (1841), p. 545.

245. W. G. Mason, ‘A Statistical Account etc.,’ vol. ii., p. 434.

246. I learn from a Petty Sessions case, March, 1911, at Derrygonnelly, that this custom prevails also in Fermanagh, and that friends and relatives do not visit the young couple in the interim, but entertain them on the second Sunday.