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> The "talk" Of Ireland, Irish Myths
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Ríobhca31 
Posted: 10-Mar-2005, 11:41 AM
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I found this, and thought I would share!

The Undead Priest
There was a widow woman one time, lived away in a remote mountainous area outside Dublin. The place she lived in was very lonely and she had only one son who went into the priesthood. He was very intelligent and was away for years at the seminary in Maynooth. Never once did he come back to see his mother until he was quite old. They said that he had some sort of sickness about him and that he had come home to stay for a while with his old mother to recover his health.
She was very pleased to see him and made him very welcome. Her neighbours, too, called from time to time to welcome him home but he had been away for such a long time and was no longer a local man, nor did he make any attempt to become part of the community. He was sharp and aloof and, truth to tell, with all his book-learning he considered himself much better than those who lived in the district around. Local people consulted him on matters of faith but they did not socialise with him nor he with them. He simply shut himself away in his mother's cottage in the mountains with his books and his own thoughts. Then, just before his fiftieth birthday, he suddenly died. Whether it was because of what ailed him I don't know, but I believe that the death was very quick.

His body was laid out in his mother's house and everybody in the immediate locality called there to pay their respects and to help in the funeral. Indeed, it was a sad day when they waked him and a sadder day yet when they carried his coffin from the lonely mountain cottage to the rocky graveyard on the side of a hill a few miles away. All the people in the locality went to the funeral, but the mother was not feeling up to the long and difficult journey and so remained at home.

The Undead Priest
There was a widow woman one time, lived away in a remote mountainous area outside Dublin. The place she lived in was very lonely and she had only one son who went into the priesthood. He was very intelligent and was away for years at the seminary in Maynooth. Never once did he come back to see his mother until he was quite old. They said that he had some sort of sickness about him and that he had come home to stay for a while with his old mother to recover his health.
She was very pleased to see him and made him very welcome. Her neighbours, too, called from time to time to welcome him home but he had been away for such a long time and was no longer a local man, nor did he make any attempt to become part of the community. He was sharp and aloof and, truth to tell, with all his book-learning he considered himself much better than those who lived in the district around. Local people consulted him on matters of faith but they did not socialise with him nor he with them. He simply shut himself away in his mother's cottage in the mountains with his books and his own thoughts. Then, just before his fiftieth birthday, he suddenly died. Whether it was because of what ailed him I don't know, but I believe that the death was very quick.

His body was laid out in his mother's house and everybody in the immediate locality called there to pay their respects and to help in the funeral. Indeed, it was a sad day when they waked him and a sadder day yet when they carried his coffin from the lonely mountain cottage to the rocky graveyard on the side of a hill a few miles away. All the people in the locality went to the funeral, but the mother was not feeling up to the long and difficult journey and so remained at home.




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Ríobhca31 
Posted: 10-Mar-2005, 11:42 AM
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Sorry Everyone, I had copied it in here twice!!

oops!
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Dreamer1 
Posted: 10-Mar-2005, 04:42 PM
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But what's the rest?? What happened next? (Please, Mom, don't stop reading now!)
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Ríobhca31 
Posted: 14-Mar-2005, 10:42 AM
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here is the conclusion of this story:

It took some time for the burial party to reach the graveyard, and the trip back over the uneven road was just as slow. Night was coming down and long shadows were beginning to fall before they came within sight of their own homes. As they came over the last hill, the mourners saw a man approaching them, walking very quickly. They looked at each other.
'Every man in the district has been at the funeral', said one. 'Who could that man be and why is he coming from that direction?'

The leaders signalled for the procession to stop and they stood by the roadside and waited as the walker drew level with them. As he neared, they all saw very clearly the face of the man that they had just buried!

He passed them on the other side of the road, still striding along swiftly at an almost inhuman speed, his head slightly turned away from them. Even so, they were able to make sure of his identity and they all saw the paleness of his skin, the hard and glittering wide-open eyes and the lips drawn back across his shrivelled gums as though caught in the rictus of death. And he was not wearing the winding sheet in which he had been buried but rather the decent, black frock-coat of a regular priest. He passed them by and disappeared around a bend in the road which led towards the graveyard.

When he had passed, the people in the procession began to talk fearfully among themselves, casting long glances along the road that he had taken. There was much discussion as to whether they should go to the mother's house, which lay about a mile distant, and tell her what they had seen. It was finally agreed that they should visit the grieving woman and check that she was well and settled for the night, but that nothing should be said about the apparition. So agreed, they went to the cottage, approaching the door and knocking loudly. There was no answer. Climbing up onto an upturned basin, one of the mourners peered through the kitchen window to see the old woman lying on the floor apparently in a dead faint. Using their shoulders, some of the neighbors broke down the door and gently lifted her, reviving her with a little whiskey which they had about them. Hesitantly, she told them what had happened.

About half-an-hour earlier there had been a knock on her door. She could not imagine who it might be since all her neighbours were at the funeral and she was rather afraid to answer it. The knock came again, this time more loudly and insistently. Getting up on a kitchen stool, the woman peered out of the small, high window. To her horror, she saw her dead son standing there in broad daylight, much as she had remembered him when he was alive.

Although he was not looking directly at her, she was still able to see the ghastly pallor of his skin and the awful wolfishness of his whole bearing. He seemed to be half-crouching as though preparing to spring upon her when she answered the door. Fear swept over her and she felt the stool give way beneath her feet as her legs buckled and she fainted. There she had lain until her neighbors had found her.

The undead priest was never seen in the neighborhood again but people in that remote parish still pass his grave in the lonely mountain cemetery with a quick and fearful step."

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Ríobhca31 
Posted: 14-Mar-2005, 10:45 AM
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Another Story: (it's a long one!) Enjoy!

Tailor & The Hare-Woman
The hare was a symbol of evil in many country areas. This may be attributed to its pagan significance; it was the symbol of the Celtic moon-goddess and was closely allied with the witchcraft and wonder-working which was traditionally carried out by moonlight. The memory of that tradition may well have lingered on in the minds of rural people. As early as the twelfth century, Giraldus Cambrensis wrote about certain old Irish women who could transform themselves into the guise of hares for the purposes of working evil.
The following tale uses the hare motif to symbolise evil, with the figure of the tailor representing good. Tailors, like blacksmiths, were important individuals in any rural community, and were often credited with special powers against evil. Although this version of the story comes from County Sligo, the tale is well-known in many parts of Ireland.

There was a tailor one time, travelled all over Ireland as tailors used to do in the days long ago. He would come into a place and would set up in a local house and the people all around would bring him things to mend. That was always the way of it in country areas.

Now, this tailor was coming through County Sligo and he had always taken lodgings with a farmer and his wife that lived near Coole. He slept in a small back room at the gable end of the house, just above the kitchen, and used a back scullery to do his tailoring, paying the couple a little bit of rent for the space. The farmer was a very old man but the wife was young and wicked looking and the tailor was wary of her. However, she was always very civil to him and he thought that he was wrong to doubt her.

One day, he arrived at the house to find that the farmer had died a good number of months before but that the wife was still living there. She made him very welcome and told him that he could continue to lodge there for as long as he wanted and at the same rent. The tailor was now very sure that he had misjudged the woman and that she was decent enough. Indeed, she was so good to him that she told him to lie as long as he wanted in the morning and that she would bring him his breakfast. He thought that this was very fair and thanked the woman kindly. All the same, he noticed that, when she spoke, her tone was gentle but her eyes were as hard as metal. Still, he had been travelling for some time and resolved to take her at her word and have a lie-in for the first few days of his lodging there.

The next morning, however, he was awake with the first sun of the day. So as not to disturb the woman of the house he lay in bed for a while. He could hear her moving about in the kitchen below and, for a moment, he thought that he heard water splashing but he couldn't be sure. After a long while she came up and brought him his breakfast and told him to lie a little while longer. So he did, and got up feeling very refreshed.

The following morning he was awake at the same time and, this time, he was sure that he heard movement and the sound of water in the kitchen below him. Wondering what was going on, he got up and crept quietly down the stairs so as not to disturb the woman. Looking round the kitchen door, he saw her filling a big wooden tub with water. She looked like she might be going to take a bath, so the tailor made to turn on his heel and creep back to bed. Suddenly, she peeled off all her clothes and leapt into the water. There was a flash and a puff of smoke and a great big hare jumped out of the tub and through the open kitchen door, out into the morning.

The tailor was dumbstruck and very frightened for he knew what had happened and what his hostess was about so early in the morning. The woman was a witch and she had turned herself into a hare in order to go out into the morning and do mischief to her neighbours. In some places, witches went about in the guise of small animals, sucking milk from the teats of grazing cattle so that they were dry and would give nothing when they came to be milked. Sometimes the witch in her animal form would jump into a baby's cradle when it was sleeping and smother the infant. Witches were always getting up to terrible evil like that in the countryside.

Well, the tailor was greatly frightened and would have left the place then and there but he had a good number of sewing jobs that day and, anyway, he was possessed of a great curiosity and wanted to see exactly what the woman was up to. He went back to bed and, after a long time, she came back again and brought him up his breakfast, wishing him a 'Good morning' as she did so, as if she had just risen herself.
The next morning, he was wide awake from well before light and was determined to creep down and see what he could see. As soon as the sun was coming up, he could hear the noises again in the kitchen below him and, listening hard, the sound of water being carried into the kitchen. Getting up, he crept down and peered around the door. The woman had now the wooden tub filled and was peeling off her clothes. Not knowing that she was being watched, she leapt into the bath. In her place, out jumped the large hare. Without looking around, it was out through the kitchen door and away across the fields.

Quick as a flash and without thinking of the possible danger, the tailor undressed himself, ran into the kitchen and jumped into the water. As I said, he was cursed with a great curiosity and he wanted to see what the hare-woman was doing and where she was going. As soon as he touched the water, there was a flash and a puff of smoke and he was transformed into a hare himself. Then he leapt out of the bath and followed the witch out through the kitchen door and over the fields.

On and on they ran, across wide fields and across sheughs, hedges and ditches. All the while the witch-woman kept well ahead of the tailor, but he was still able to see her and follow her wherever she went. At length they came to a small, grassy hill in the middle of the townland of Ballylee, and there a good number of other hares had gathered. There were big hares and small hares, black hares and brown hares, hares with only one ear and hares that had strangely marked coats. They had formed themselves into a circle on top of the little hill. The tailor knew instantly that these were the witches of the locality and that they had gathered here so that they could work their evil in the district together. Quietly and without fuss he joined their company.

A big, grey buck-hare with a dark patch on its back stood up in the centre of the circle and spoke to all the witches that were gathered about him.

'Go home!' says he to them, 'For we'll do no bad work here today. There is a stranger amongst us!' And all the other hares turned around and looked in the direction of the tailor. He knew then that he had been found out! The hare that was the witch woman with whom he was lodging opened her mouth and issued a long and terrible shriek and with that the tailor knew that he had to get home and transformed back or something awful would befall him. He took to his heels and fled across the fields towards Coole and the bath of magic water. But the witch woman was not far behind him.

Faster and faster he ran but she stayed on his tail and indeed she seemed to be gaining on him. Back through the sheughs and hedges he ran and down along loanings and boreens, back towards the farmhouse. As he neared the gate of her yard he chanced a look behind him and saw that she was indeed very close. He ran across the yard and in through the still-open kitchen door. With a flying jump, he sprang into the water and it closed over him. In an instant, he was transformed again and was back into his own true shape. However, even as he changed back, the witch-woman came through the door and made a leap herself for the enchanted water in the tub.
Grabbing his clothes, which lay in a heap beside the tub, the tailor made a run across the kitchen and up the stairs. He looked back as he did so and saw that the witch-woman had also changed back into her own shape and was coming after him, letting out terrible yells. There was a knife Iying on the kitchen table and she grabbed that and came on, waving it threateningly.

The tailor got to his bedroom and managed to shut and secure the door after him. He held it closed while the witch-woman hammered on it and screamed awful threats and oaths against him. Gathering together his bits and pieces, he opened the small window in the gable-end of the room and let himself through it, dropping down into the yard below as quick as he could. And all the while, he could hear the witch-woman beating and breaking at the door.

He ran and ran across the countryside and never stopped until he was on the outskirts of Sligo town itself. He had left his thimble and several pieces of stuff behind him, but nothing in God's own creation would make him go back for them. He took up tailoring again but he never struck out on the road towards Coole. He never knew what became of the witch-woman, nor did he want to find out, for those that traffic in the dark sciences are best left alone.

However, some time after, he was working in a country house, doing some sewing by the light of a lamp, and he had to bend over the cloth that he was mending so that he could see it better. One of the children who was playing about the floor looked queerly at him and, climbing up beside him, said: 'What is that on the back of your neck, sir?'

The tailor put up his hand and felt along the back of his neck. To his great horror, there was a ring of coarse fur, the same as you would find around the neck of a hare! It was a part of him that the enchanted water hadn't touched when he was in his hare form and which hadn't been transformed back. That ring of fur stayed with him until the day that he died and he had to wear a scarf, even on a warm day, to keep curious folk from staring at it or asking him about it.

So if you ever see a woman taking a bath in a wooden tub before the first light of morning or a tailor with a scarf about his shoulders on a hot summer's day, then you'll know for certain that my story is true."

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maria 
Posted: 17-Jun-2005, 04:50 AM
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Nice story, but it is really Ireland story, i mean it is not your fantasy?
If it is true i ll tell it to my pupils in school smile.gif


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LilysApple 
Posted: 02-Jul-2005, 11:32 AM
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Chasing a Ghost in Canada


Hundreds of Irish Americans traveled to Montreal in Canada over the weekend to find the head of an ancient Irish ghost.

Mary Gallagher, who came to Montreal and Gross Ile, Montreal?s Ellis Island, after the famine of 1847, made her living on the streets of Montreal as a prostitute. She was beheaded by a jealous sister prostitute, Susan Kennedy, in 1879, and buried in an unmarked grave at Notre-Dame-des-Neiges cemetery.

The head of the 38-year-old prostitute, the story goes, was hacked off with an axe and dumped in a slop bucket, her severed right hand left lying on the floor nearby.

Every seven years, Gallagher is supposed to reappear searching for her head on the anniversary of her death on June 27. On Monday hundreds of Irish Americans traveled to the site to catch a glimpse of the famous ghost.

Montreal has two Irish celebrations each year, St. Patrick?s Day and Mary Gallagher?s Day. But the ghost watch only happens on the seventh year anniversary.

Reverend Thomas McEntee began this tradition in 1991 and hosted a Mass before the ghost watch.

Denis Delaney remembers his mother calling him for his dinner with, ?Come in or the headless lady will get you!? A Navy veteran, Delaney, 71, claims to have seen Gallagher before.

She has mousy-brown hair, he said, and in 1998, he saw her wearing a red dress with a green silk band, black ankle boots, a white petticoat, earrings, and a gold Claddagh ring.

?Every time I come down here it?s almost like being transported back in time,? he said.

Though the ghost made no appearance, McKibbin?s Pub, which is near the scene of her beheading, served Bloody Mary?s all night.





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