These extracts are from Mrs Annie Gillmor. At the end is one from Peggy Maxwell describing the Boihy townland.
There is a lake on the top of the Benbow mountain. A man whose name is forgotten dreams three nights in succession about a crock of gold which is supposed to be at the deep side of the lake. The man is his dream was told to drain the lake until he came to a very large flat stone. This water helps the water in the lake. He was then to lift the stone, and underneath he has to find the rabbit who is keeping guard under the stone, over the crock of gold. He started to drain the lake, he had to show out so many dishfulls. As he was working a horseman appeared who shouted “What are you doing there and Manorhamilton afire”. The man turned, and looked in the direction of Manorhamilton, and looking at the lake again it was so full as ever, and the horseman had disappeared.
(2) A boy named Templeton who was neared in the townland of Boihy in the parish of Drumlease, Co. Leitrim now lives in America. He is about 35 years of age now. When a child he had a dream three nights in succession about money. His dream was that he could get a sixpence every morning under a stone in the byre. This stone was just at the cows’s hip when she lay down. His mother came upon a little hoard of sixpences, and the child was made tell where he got them, as the parent thought he was stealing. At last he told, but when he did, he never got any more sixpences.
(3) Another girl a child Kate Siberry about the same time had a dream also. Her father told this story about him. He is over 80 years of age now, and lives in Bohey also.
Kate, in her dream was to go to a hawthorn bush (which is still there, and is called the money bush) The tree in on the lane near the home. She was told to go between two lights every evening. A blackbird was to come with 2/6 to her. There was a shop in Sam Johnston’s house then, Johnstons lived in the house then ,and Kate if she had to go to the shop always tried to wait until twilight. If she wasn’t going to the shop, she used to make an excuse to see an old woman called Maggie Duncan, whose small farm Sam Johnston owns now.
Kate’s mother began to wonder, why she wants to go out every evening, and of course she wouldnt tell. Her father said he would cut the blood out of her, if she wouldn’t, so after a long time of persecution, she told her dreams, and showed the 2/6’s. Ever after the blackbird ceased to come and Kate got no more money.
A Funny Story
Dr. O’Carroll in Dromahair Co. Letrium is almost 80 years old of age. In his early days he once had a servant boy who was very tricky. A story is told about John.
One day the Dr. got a sick call. In those days he visited his patients on horseback. “Get the horse John I have to go on a sick call”. John got the horse but he put the saddle back to front. “Why, man” said the Dr., “you have the saddle turned the wrong way”. “Sir” said John “I thought you were that way”.
A man named Ingram who lived near where Francis McKinley now lives in Benbow Dromahair asked a neighbour Ned Siberry to come with him to make his match. Both men went to the girl’s house, and all was arranged for the wedding. At the house was a black spaniel. “That’s a great dog I’d give £5 for him if I’d get him” said Igram. “Take him with you” said the girl’s father, “he’s no good here” So Ingram brought the dog. When the girl’s fortune was being paid to Ingram he was paid £5 short.
1 What’s full and holds none.
(A pot of potatoes holds more water.)
2. Chip, chip, cherry, all the men in Derry couldn’t climb chip, chip, cherry? (smoke)
3. Londonderry, cork, and Kerry, spell that without a “k”.
4. 40 sheep went through a gap. 20 more followed tat, 6,7,10,16,3 and 2 how many is that? (5)
5. Why does a few pick a potstick? (Because she cant lick it)
6 What goes through the wood and through the wood, and never touches it? (a knife is a mom’s pocket.
7. As I went up corn Hill, Corn Hill was shaking, and all of the birds of Corn Hill was gathered in one acre?
(A man sowing oats)
8.Roomfulls and roomfulls; and you couldnt get a spoon full? (smoke)
9. I have a little cow, she’s tied to the wall, she’d eat all the heather from here to Donegal? (the fine)
10. A Little round white house, full of meat, no doors, no windows to let me in to eat? (an egg)
11. What walks with its head down? ( A nail in a man’s boot)
12. What goes round the wood, and round the wood and never get into it? (Bark of a tree)
13. As I went out a “guttery” gap, I met my uncle Davy. I snapped his head, and sucked his blood and left lying easy? ( a haw)(a rose hip berry)
14. I have a little pony, with a iron throat, as quick as she gallops, she swallows the rope? (a sewing machine).
15. Headed like a thimble, tailed like a rat. You may guess for ever, but you couldn’t guess that? (a pipe).
16. What full in the daytime and empty at night? ( a body)
17. As round as an apple, as deep as a cup. All the men in Derry couldn’t lift it up. (A Well).
18. What goes round the house, and round the house, with its “puddings’ trailing after it? (A hen with a flock of chickens).
19. Blask, and white went up the hill. Black came down, and white stood still? (Black hen laying an egg)
20. Long legged father, big belly-ed mother, three little children as black as each other? (A pot)
21. I often went up a wee road, and I often went down a wee road, and I often went down a wee road, and I often carried it on my back ( A ladder).
22. Patches and patches without any stiches. If you riddle me that I’ll buy you a pair of breaches. (A Cabbage)
23. hairy in, and hairy out, and hairy into hairy’s mouth? ( A woollen stocking)
24. What hangs and bears but never blossoms ? Crook
30. Two little maidens dressed in white, dead in the day time alive at night? (two candles)
31. Little Nancy Etticoat in her white petticoat, the longer she stands, the shorter she grows? (a candle)
32. I sat on my “hunkers”, I looked through my “winkers”, I saw the dead burying the live? (Raking the fire)
33. What’s cut in the wood, and sounds in the town, and earns his master many a pound? (a fiddle)
34. a fiddler in Dromahair has a brother a fiddler in manorhamilton. If the fiddler in Manorhamilton has no brother a fiddler in Dromahair what has he? (a sister)
35. How many cat’s tails would reach to the sky? (one, if it was long enough.)
36. How many wells would make a river? (one, if it was big enough.)
37. There little puppy dog Trip, Tray and Traveller and which was
the bitch’s name? (Which)
38. One half dead, one half living, and a tail wagging? (a dog with his head in a pot.)
39. Where was the first potato found? (In the ground.)
40. What has hands, and never washes it’s face? (clock)
41. What’s white and black, and “red” all over? (a book or newspaper)
42. A man went out to shoot a rabbit. He had a dog with him, the dog was neither in front of him, or behind him, or on one side of him. where was he? (on the other side of him.)
43. On what side of a cup is the handle? (the outside)
44. What lies in it’s own dirt at night? (a fire)
45. Spell black water in 3 letters. (ink)
46. Why do you go to bed? Because the bed won’t come to you.
47. Why does the hen cross the road? (to get to the other side)
48. What’s the cleanest thing in the house, and the least thought of? (the dish cloth)
49. I have four little sisters neat and tall, they are at the one employment all, when one is out, the other is in and they are at the same employment still. (knitting a sock)
50. Why does a cow go across a ditch? (because she can’t go under
51. Why does a chimney smoke? (because it can’t chew).
52. There are 24 white cows in a field. The red bull comes out, and licks them all over? (your mouth)
53. What part of a cow goes out in the gap first? (his breath)
54. Hink hank under you bank 10 drawing 4? (milking a cow.)
55. What chews and never eats? (scissors)
56. Niddy-noddy, round body three feet and a wooden hat? (pot)
57. I have a wee house, and there’s more windows in it than in King George’s? (Thimble)
58. Long legs, crooked thighs, wee head and no eyes? (Tongs)
59. As round as an apple, as plump as a ball, can climb the church, over steeple and all? (Sun)
60. As green as grass and grass it’s not As white as snow and snow it’s not As red as blood, and blood it’s not As black as ink, and ink it’s not. What is it? (a blackberry)
61. What goes through the woods and through the wood and leaves a rag on every bush? (Snow)
62. What you are every day, the thing seldom sees, and God never sees? (His own equal)
63. What man in the Irish Government wears the biggest hat? (The man with the biggest head.)
64. Useful, useless instrument:
Once it’s bought it’s never lent.
The man that buys it does not want it.
The man that wants doesn’t know it? (a coffin)
65. What is it you can’t climb? (smoke)
66. Why does a pig grunt? (because he can’t talk)
67. What is the most useful thing in the morning? (kettle)
68. 7 feet standing, 4 ears cocked and a tail wagging? (dog eating out of a pot)
69. Why does a man grow old? (Because he can’t grow young)
70. What’s dead all night, and comes to life in the morning?
71. There was a man of Adam’s name, He had no certain dwelling place, Neither in heaven, nor in hell, nor any place a man could dwell? (Jonah in the whale’s belly)
72. I have a little house, it’s not fit for a mouse and there are more windows in it than a lord’s house? (Thimble)
73. What buds, and grows and never blossoms? (a man’s beard)
74. If it takes 20 minutes to wash a baby, how long would it take to dry her? (The Towel)
75. Spell red running rogue in 3 letters? (Fox)
76. Why is a Civic Guard like a rainbow? (He comes out when the storm is over)
77. I went to the wood, and I got it. I came home, and I didn’t
want it? (A thorn)
78. When is a black dog not a black dog? (when it’s a grey hound)
79. What goes through the water, and through the water, says “clink, clink”, and never sinks, and never drinks. (cart wheel)
80. Where was Moses when the light went out? (in the dark)
81. As I was going up to London, I saw 24 wild geese tearing the world asunder? (Man borrowing oats)
83. When’s a horse not a horse? (when it’s turned into a stable)
84. When’s a bad picture like tea? (when it’s not drawn)
85. Why do you eat bread? (because you can’t drink it)
86. What sleeps with it’s head in it’s eye? (a cow’s “spansil” ie a rope to tie a cow to a stake)
87. What’s neither in nor out? (a window)
88. What’s the biggest robber in the house? (the tea pot)
89. If you fall into the sea, what’s the first thing you do? (get wet)
90. What’s the first thing you do when you go to bed? (spoil the bed)
91. How would you get ‘down’ of a horse? couldn’t no “down” on him but hair)
92. The king of Manchester went to his sister, with a bottomless tub to get some raw flesh? (a ring)
93. Why do you sleep with your eyes shut? (because you can’t keep
94. Spell constantinople. If you can’t spell “it” you are a very bad scholar? (It)
95. Spell Blind Pig in two letters. (P.G. Pig without an eye)
96.When is it dangerous to go to church? (When there is a canon in the pulpit.)
97. What is the longest word in the English language? Smiles, because there is a “mile” between the 1st and last letter.
98. Why is it dangerous to sleep in a train? (because it runs over sleepers)
99. Going away between two woods, and coming back between two waters (going to well with 2 wooden buckets)
100. Two dead men fighting, two blind men looking on, two cripples ran for guards, and a dummy shouting “Hurry on”. (a pack of lies)
101. What goes away over the ground and returns under it? A man with sod on his head.
102. Why is a horse cleverer than a mouse? (because he can run away in a trap.
103. How can a bog be compared with a coal mine? Because both supply fuel.
104. How many hairs in a dog’s tail? (none, all outside
105. The king of Moracoo built a ship and in that ship my daughter sits
And I’d be blamed for telling her name
And I’ve told her name three times. What’s her name? (And)
106. What’s the hardest key to turn? (A donkey)
107. 2 feet hanging, 4 feet ganging and 4 feet lying in a press? (A man riding a mare in foal)
108. What wig can a barber not make? (an ear wig)
109. Up he got, and at it he took, and every hair on his head shook? (A man thatching)
110. How would you compare a policeman with the black hole in the barrack? (Because both take men)
111. The king of Morocus sat down to write
He pulled out his long thing, and called it a fool.
It wasn’t a fool, and no such a thing
for many a black hole ever it was in? (a fountain pen)
112. What goes up when the rain is coming down? (umbrella)
113. Two hoopers (horns), one scutcher (tail), and 4 little diddles (teats) and 4 feet hanging (a cow)
114. Grows in a drill or bed, first white and then red. (A carrot)
115. As 9 went up you mountain, I met an old woman and she had a raggedy peticoat? (a goat)
116. What’s behind time? The back of the clock.
117. How can compare a ship without a rudder to a girl without a brother. (no rudder no brother)
118. How many sticks goes to a crow’s nest? None (they are all carried)
119. What has ears, and can’t hear? (corn)
120. Upstairs and downstairs, I look in the glass
Isn’t Kitty barty the fine young lass
Rings on her fingers, Bells on her toes,
Hit her on the pocket, and off she goes? (a Gun)
121. Riddle me, Riddle me ree
Two fat cheeks, and one blind eye (a fat apple)
122. Riddle me, Riddle me Randy Ree
My master gave me seed to sew
The seed was black, and the ground was white.
Riddle me that, and I’ll make you a kite? (Boy write with ink)
123. Little Jenny Huddle, Sat in the puddle
With a green gown, and white petticoat. (A Rush)
124. As I went to London I saw a great wonder. Three pots boiling, and no fire under. (3 spring well)
125. Dick’s father was Tom’s son. What relation was Dick to Tom? (A Grandfather)
126. Under gravel I did travel
Over Rocky I did stand
I rode a mare that never foaled
And carried the bridle in my hand. (a train)
127. Elyzabeth, Eleyna Betty and Bess
Went over the fields to seek a bird’s nest
They found a bird’s nest with 4 eggs in it.
Each took one, how many were left? (3)
128 As I was going up a hill, the day was very warm. I threw my pipes around my neck, and the remainder under my arm. (Bag pipes)
129. Riddle, me Riddle me, you and Ned. A long wooden handle, A round iron head. (Hammer)
130. I have a little cow, She must be kept warm. I milk her
through the day. She has only one horn. (teapot)
131. What comes in on the backs of people, and goes out like dust? Creeds of turf).
132. There’s a green table. Down in you meadow. It isn’t oak, ash, or yew, or any other kind of timber ever grew. (Ice on a bog hole)
133. what has a head, but no face? a match.
134. A steel bar going through a bone bridge, and a brass man driving it (brass man = Thimble driving needle through a button)
135. What’s a horse shoe like? A mares
136. Two lovely maidens dressed in white, got the fever, and died last night. (two candles which were burning wore out)
137. Why is a bad pen like an angry cat? (Because it scratches)
138. What never was, and never will be, look at your hand, and that you’ll see? (your 4 fingers the one length)
139. What parts, and never gives way? (comb parts your hair)
140. What does liars do after death? (lie still)
141. What’s yours and everyone uses it more than yourself? (your name)
If the sun sets in a bank of clouds = Bad Weather
If the sun is red a sign of rain
If there are little lines like streams hanging down from the sun, when it is setting a sign of rain.
If a new moon is on her back, it a sign that it will be showery for that moon.
If the moon hides in the clouds = Rain
If there is a ring around the moon, far away from the moon it is the sign of a near storm, and if the ring is near it is the sign of a far away storm.
If there are great many stars, and they glitter very much there is likely to be frost: Shooting stars bad weather.
heavy black clouds = Rain. Clouds like goat’s hair bad weather.
“A Rainbow in the morning is the Shepard’s warning A Rainbow at night is the Shepard’s delight.”
The West Wind (blowing from Sligo) brings most rain
Whirl wind = good weather
If the wren sings, and is noisy = Rain
If the Robin sits on the top of the hedge = fine weather
If the crane is noisy and screeching and keeps about small rivers = great rain or storm. (a flood in Bonet.)
If Swallows fly high = Good weather. If they fly low = Bad weather.
If the day is wet in the morning, we can tell if it will clear up by the hens. If it is going to be a whole wet day they will go out picking and wandering about. If it is going to clear up in a short time they remain under cover.
If geese squeal and flap their wings = rain.
If the duck quacks loudly = wind.
If the turkey cock looks up sideways to the sky = Snow
If blackbird whistle = Rain.
If the cat
scrapes bark off tree. Wind.
If the cat sits with her back to the fire = storm
If she has her paw behind her ear sign of heavy rain causing floods.
If a dog eats grass = rain. If a dog is sleepy during the day = Rain.
If a donkey or horse stands with a hump on his back. his back to the wind and ears hanging sign of rain.
If there is going to be a storm sheep will collect in the mass on the lowlands, but in good weather they feed scattered about
If frogs croak or make hard noise in autumn it’s a sign of rain.
If cows gallop with their tails over their backs on a hot day it’s a sign that it’s only a pet day, the hot weather won’t continue.
On shallow wells if it’s going to rain the well is clear, and if it’s
going to be good weather the well covers over with a glit or fog.
Some people can tell storm by their fires. If frosty weather the turf burns brightly, and the heat is stronger and the fire clear. If the turf burns on blue flames, sign of wind. When soot falls = Rain If the crook is soft it is a sign of rain.
When there is a mist of vapour like a white line along a river a sure sign of frost.
In our district when a storm is near we always hear a distant rumble in the air.
If Benbow looks near, Rain If it looks for away a sign of good weather.
If there is a mist on Benbow in the morning, we can tell if it will be a bad or good day. If the mist is going up a good day if coming down – a bad day.
“Evening Red and Morning grey
Is the sure sign of a fine day.”
In good weather the sky is a light blue, in bad weather am inky blue.
For thunder, when the sun shines, and the ground is a copper colour.
If the cricket sings sharply it is a sign of Rain.
“An ounce of March dust is worth a pot of gold”
If the sun is red sign of wind.
If old people complain of pains in their bones, or if their corns get sore it’s a sign of rain.
Signs of Rain
“The soot falls down, and spanials sleep. And spiders from their cobwebs creep Last night the moon went pale to bed. The moon in hollow hid her head. the boading shepard heaved a sigh for see a rainbow in the sky Old Betty’s joints are on the rack Loud quack the ducks the peacock cries The distant hills are looking nigh. Twill surely rain, I see with sorrow our jaunt must be put off to-morrow.”
Tom George Duncan Dark Valley Dromahain can lift 1 cwt bag of meal in his teeth, and carry it through the kitchen.
Cyril Taylor and Michael Quinn both of Aughamelta Bar Dromahair lifted a hand barrow containing 100 bricks in number. The weight was about 6 carts.
Michael Quinen also lifted a 2 cwt bag of cement in his teeth.
Tommy Sibbery can lift 11 lbs weight with his thumb. Tommy lives in Bohey. Dromahair. Co. Leitrim
There is a very large rock under Sam Johnston’s Bohey, Dromahair supposed to have been thrown across from the Sceg (a mountain opposite Benbow Sam lives on the bottom Benbow.) It is called Molly’s Rock. there is another rock on the Sceg which is supposed to have been thrown in return. On it there is the point of a human hand, and there is a similar slope with the point of a human foot on it just convenient to the other ones. One. These stones weigh up to 5 tons, and are supposed to have been thrown by giants.
Robie Jamison, Bohey, Dromahair set 1 cwt of potatoes from 8 o’clock to 6 o’clock in one day.
Henry Maxwell Bohey Dromahair set 1 cwt of potatoes from 9 o’clock to 6 o’clock. (These potatoes were set with a boy).
Francis McKinley Aughamelta Barr, Benbow mowed an acre of hay in the day.
John McSharry Courtglancey Bromahair (now dead) cut 1/2 cwt of turf in one day. A 1/2 cwt weight turf in this district is 10 crates of turf (a horse crate).
William Gillmor Bohey Ho. Bromahair the present Stuart Gillmor’s grandfather got up one morning got his breakfast. Started on horseback for Enniskellon (31 miles from here) with 60 yards of linen. He sold the linen, came home, it looked like rain. He got two men, and it was harvest, and started to build “shigs” of oats. He was at the 6th “shig” when the rain came on the next morning. The same man walked from his home to Dromahair in 27 minutes, and his son William Hunter Gillmor walked it in 35 minutes (a distance of 4 miles).
Paddy Mc Morrow (Peter’s Grandfather) of Bohey, Benbow rose at sun rise, went to Manorhamilton, got breakfast there, and was in Derry for the boat for Scotland the same night.
When the present railway (S.L.N.C.) was being built from Stigo to Cannikillin about 70 years ago, a man named John Kelly brought 3 on his horse cart to the townland of Lisgorman. These rails each measured 30 ft in length and weighed 7 cwts. Tommy Siberry (now 87 years of age) lifted one of them up to his knees and down again. A short time afterwards the sweat came out of him in “great big beads” but did him no harm.
Robert Armstrong great grandmother name was Margaret. (Robert attends school here). One day Margaret got the breakfast, went to Sligo did her messages came back (walking or perhaps half running) got the dinner for the men who were working in the bog, She went out to bog and “footed” 1/2 cwt turf until night. Sligo is 10 miles from where she lived in Corrigeencor Dromahair Co. Leitrim.
There was a terrible burning on Benbow Mountain in May 1916. An old man named Tommy Saunders who lived where Mr. O’connor (the agriculture instructor) lives now lit some bracken behind his own house, on his own land. The fire spread in spite of all he could do, and traveled all along the whole back and front of the mountain. Cloonaquin and Bohey was smothered in smoke. Crowds gathered and went in batches working with spades and shovels, and buckets of water, and at last got it quenched. It was geared that all the houses at the bottom of the mountain on this side (Bohey) would be burned. no harm was done except the nests of the pheasants and grouse were burnt. these birds together with hares and rabbits have not been so numerous since. The whole mountain looked a dirty black mass for a long time. It began to grow again after a time (grass “Kerb” (a kind of grass) and Heather) and it looked more beautiful than ever.
About 20 years ago a girl named Thornton was drowned in the Bonet, in the townland of Cloonaquin. Then it was a practice to hold all night dances in contry houses to amuse the young boys and girls. To cross the river Bonet from the townland of Cloonloogher to Cloonaquin or the Oak Wood, a wire was tied from one bank of the river to the opposite side in a straight line, this wire people held on to and worked themselves across the river while they stood on an old “float: made for the purpose (This float was a flat piece of timber something like a door or the body of a hay float which farmers now use to float in or bring hay). this wire and float was used to cross the river just opposite to where John Fox now lives. The dance was being held in John Fox’s and Miss Thornton was coming over to the dance. It was a wet stormy night and the float overturned, and she was drowned. Her brother was a herd for Mr. Bonboy, and Mr. Conboy’s estate has been divided recently amongst the small farmers of the neighbourhood by the I.L. commission. A very fine bridge has been erected across the river.
Another drowning took place recently in Cloonaquin in the Bonet. It happened in the year 1938 in the month of August. Thomas Shaw, Privy Rd., West Kirby, Cheshire age about 45. Was drowned while trout fishing. He was the Junior Headmaster of Calday Grange Grammar School Chesire. he was accompanied by his brother Samuel Shaw and a friend Thomas Rosbottom also from Chesire. The party were staying in Curnings Hotel Roses Point, and motored over to Cloonaquin to fish. Mr. Shaw was wading in shallow water, stepped from a ledge into a pool 16 ft deep. he was a strong swimmer but the river was in flood, and he was pulled down by his heavy wading boots and fishing tackle. Mr. Rosbottom had gone to the car to change flies, and the brother who was further upstream. Mr. Rosbottom heard the shouting, ran, flung off his own waders, went in after his friend, and dived several times, but could not find him as the water was deep and dark. he kept swimming and diving for upwards of an hour, until at last the people around who had gathered insisted that it was of no use. He was thoroughly exhausted, and Dr. O’Carroll said he did not spare himself in trying to save his friend. The drowning occurred about 6 o’clock in the evening. Next day was found the next day civilians and guards dragged the river. The body was found the next day about 12 o’clock by Sargent King from Kiltyclogher and a man named Gallagher who lives in Cloonaquin (he got £1 from the drowned man’s brother). The body was coffined and brought to England for burial. Mr. Shaw had been married a year. The spot where he was drowned is called the “Lum Hole”.
In the same spot about 100 years ago a man called Barney McGrisken was drowned. he was coming home from Drumkeeran, where he had been to buy two little pigs. He had a pony and creels and a pig in each creel. He had Whiskey taken, and had to cross the river to his home, a short distance form the river. (Armstrongs live on his farm now.) He fell into the river, and one of the pigs was drowned as well.
Another story is told by the old people of another drowning which they heard about from their parents. Two little girls came from Benbow to where McGloin’s old house now is. They had to go across the river to reach the house. The house is just beside the river. One of the little girls went to the house, and asked the old woman of the house to come out, that the other girl had a message for her. She didn’t go out just at once, the cock came into the house, and crowed 3 times. “Go out” said the old woman’s husband, and see if anything is wrong.” When the old woman and girl ran out, the girl had fallen into the river and of course she was drowned. People cross this river on stepping stones from one road to the other, and have been trying to get a bridge built, but have not yet succeeded in getting a grant.
In Corrigeencor Lake in the Counland of CLorrigeencor and Aughametta Dromahair the ice was once so think that men carted turf across with horses and carts from the bog beyond the lake. Then there was 7 weeks of frost. It was in the year 1878. The youths of the countryside used to skate on the lake. One evening the ice broke and a boy named Johnny Blair (who lives in Scotland and is over 70 years now) fell in. martin carney ran to his home just beside the lake, and went up to a loft to get a rope. He was in such a hurry that he fell and broke his shoulder blade. In the end Johnny was pulled out with the rope and he was alright.
At the very same time Lough Gill ( believed Bromahair and Stigo) was frozen also. Hundreds of people were skating on it. They used to skate in the night and bring refreshments with them. Once suddenly one of the skater boys was missing, he was discovered under the ice. A Caplain Bidgood took off his coat and gave his sleeve to the boy under the ice, he lay down on the ice himself, and other men ho got to form a chain to the shore by holding on to each other’s feet. They also being stretched on the ice, They all pulled, and dragged the boy over the ice. He was on the point of death, when he was pulled to the shore, but soon recovered.
A man named McGarry got his living by selling herrings. About 50 years
ago he was at the fair of Dromahair selling herrings. He travelled on
“Seam-baile” as it is now called, it is the old road from Bohey to
Dromahair. There is a lake in the townland of Fawn called
“Lough-na-hoo”. This old road runs through the lake, and the road is
flooded for the greater part of the winter. It happened to be flooded when the
herring man was coming home. He drove the horse and cart through the flood. The
horse lost the road and went over the bank into the lake. Herring, man and all
was lost in the waters. An attempt was made to drain the lake, but couldn’t as
it filled up again, on account of the under channels between it and Corriguncor
lake it is supposed. A new road was made between Dromahair and Bohey.
Another man named “Cullen of the Cove” was drowned in “Lough na hoo”. He lived where John McGolderick lives now, he was coming home from Dromahair the “worst of drink” and fell into the lake, and was drowned.
There was a plague of Cholera in this district, supposed to have happened after the Famine. The cause it is said was, that the people got nothing to eat except “indian meal porridge and the women didn’t know how to cook it. It wasn’t boiled enough. The old people call Indian meal porridge “Indian buck”
About 50 years ago one Sunday in October there was a terrible storm of wind. Ricks of hay were blown down, and people had to throw manure on the thatch to keep the roofs on their houses. The salt could be tasted on the leaves of the bushes where it had been blown probably in from the sea about 11 miles away. It was also on the window panes.
Very often during the harvest, the Bonet river is flooded, and the flood is out on the meadows adjoining the river, and on some of the roads. The reason is there are big rocks in the river at Corrigeencor Bridge, and when there is heavy rain it overflows. It doesn’t last very long, a few hours. An old woman who is blind now, and over 80 years of age once saw a cock of hay floating down the river, and a rat sitting on top of it. If the flood occurs in Winter or Spring or early Summer, the meadows are very dirty, and this makes them hard to mow and if in Autumn the hay is often carried away if mowed, and if saved in cocks, the hay is spoiled.
It must be very many years ago since a murder was committed on Benbow Mountain, because the old woman whose grandfather found the murdered body is now 84 years old, and is blind. Her name is Mrs. Duncan Alder Cottage Bohey. Dromahair. Her grandfather’s name was McCordock, and he lived where James McCordock now lives.
A stranger came from the north. His name was Faghy. He was coming to the mill which was in the townland of Corrigeencor where Birds now live. There are some ruins of the old mill still standing just beside the river Bonet. Faghy had got as far as Lurganboy, and being a stranger enquired the way from a man named Ford, who suggested, he should leave his horse and cart at his place, and walk the short cut over the mountain. The stranger agreed, but was followed by Ford, who cut his throat and robbed him of the money he had to pay at the mill, and left him lying there. It would appear that Faghy was trying to save himself as two of his fingers were cut also. Ford started for home, but was so exhausted that he called into a house on his way and asked for a cup of tea. While the kettle was being boiled he fell asleep, and told all about what he had done. Old Mr. McCordock was going up the mountain to look after his sheep. On his was up he meet a red haired woman, a stranger, he was surprised but went on his way. He found the body of Faghy. At first he thought he would go on and not take any notice, but he had only gone a few paces, when he imagined the breath was taken from him, he couldn’t move, he prayed to God to give him strength to cry for help. He shouted “A man dead.” He was heard at the “screig” a mountain opposite Benbow about _ miles as the crow flies, only the shout sounded like “a lamb dead” He soon got assistance, and the police come out from Dromahair. The woman in Lurganboy told all about Ford, and he was arrested and transported.
Faghy was buried on the mountain. There is a heap of stones over his grave. It is a custom here that anyone that passes by throws a stone.
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could not be quenched. He was always calling for milk. On the day of the burning a man was going up the road and when passing the field something as big as an ass came on to the road and walked along side of him. The man happened to look down, and saw the cloven foot. It disappeared at the “Stir-a-bout” bray a distance of about 20 yards from the “Burned Byre” field.
Corrigeecor School was first built by the landlord George R. Lane Fox,
Esq. D.L. in the year 1850 for the education of the children of his tenants.
Before this school was built there was a school on the Cloonaquin Road about
3-1/2 miles from Manorhamilton the ruins of which can still be seen in the land
belonging to Mr. Walter Middleton Cloonaquin Manorhamilton. There are ruins of
another small school in Baggaun also about 3-1/2 miles from Manorhamilton on
the Drumkeeran road. The country was dotted over with these small school[s].
They were attended by the children of the district, and also by young men who
took a notion of joining the Constabulary. The seats at the time were made from
logs of trees split in two, and dressed with a hatchet. (Only the very rich
possessed a saw.) The slates generally used were those blown off slated houses,
often people travelled 3 miles to get one, as slated houses were scarce in the
district. These slates were rubbed hard against a stone to smooth them and
written on by a slate pencil which was called “cutter.” Books were
scarce, and newspapers were used for teaching as well once a month was as often
as a newspaper could be got.
The landlord granted the teachers £6 a year and if the school was situated between two estates the teacher ran the chance of getting a double grant. In the Winter each child brought two turf every morning, and the parents paid 1/- per quarter to the teacher. If the teacher ever got a blind eye or a lame leg etc. they had to still teach as long as they were able to write their name. Miss Golden was the name of the teacher who taught in Cloonaquin school.
From 1850 on, the children attended the present National School – Corrigeencor, the teachers being paid by the landlord until 1872. The school then had a brick floor, and was divided into two parts, one for boys, and the other for girls. There were desks in the school, they had books but used slates and cutters for written work. The first teachers were Douglas and Margaret Bird, brother and sister. They were reared in the townland of Aughamelta, where Parke’s lives now about a mile from the school. The next teachers were Paddy Loller[?] and his wife. They lived in the Residence which was also built by the landlord. Then Johnny McGee and his wife they also lived in the Residence, they came from Killenumery. Johnny died in the workhouse in Manorhamilton. After Johnny McGee came Henry Duncan, who lived in Dromahair. By this time the school was under the National Board and the teacher was a Mr Broder who taught until he was pensioned. Grown up men attended the school, and often attacked the master. He was bald. He lived in the residence, sometimes alone, at other times a married sister stayed with him for a while.
In olden times candles were made in this district in every house. They
were called rush candles. The children were always sent out to collect the
rushes. These were peeled all but one little strip to keep it together and to
hold it by. They were left in the chimney to dry. In those olden days people
killed cows, calves and sheep. They always kept the fat. This fat was used in
candle making. If they had none they could buy it in the shops. It was called
tallow. They had a metal boat shaped article called a “Cam.” In this
the tallow was melted. The rushes were then dipped in the tallow, and left in a
dry place to set. They were then ready for use. They were placed in a
candlestick which had something like a nippers at the top, and as the candle
burned, the ‘nippers’ were moved down.
When paraffin oil was first introduced, it was called the mad oil. It was burned in tin lamps made by tinkers, these were called penny tins and were kept in holes, which were each side of the fireplace. These holes are still to be seen in some of the houses. The lamps had no globes, and had a rag for a wick.
Creels and turf baskets are made in this locality. They are made from “sally” rods. The farmer usually has a small field where he grows these sally rods. This patch is called “the sally garden”. He cuts them in Harvest, and ties them in bundles and leaves them past until he requires them. The creels are made in a field.
Spinning and weaving
Flax was sown by everybody. When it was ripe, it was pulled by hand, and buried in a bog hole. There are flax holes in every farm. When the flax was about 9 or 10 days buried in the hole, it was spread on a field to dry. When it was dried in the fields, it was brought in, and dried again over the fire in the kitchen. Many a house was burned in this way. A little girl Johnny Templeton’s sister was burned to death in this way. The flax caught fire, and only the child was in the house. After the flax was thoroughly dried it was beetled. This was done by a wooden instrument about 2 ft long, e.g. [drawing of] handle [and] beetle. The flax was beaten on the floor with this beetle. Next it was ‘scutched.’ This scutching was done by the young girls of the district. About 12 of them met in one house and scutched the flax for that household in one day or so. At the end of the scutching in each house, there was a dance. The young men would collect in that house, where there was a “Camp” as the girls were called. This scutching meant to separate the wooden part from the yarn. They used a scutching hand & beat in on a block, they were very quick at this turning the flax. Then they ran it through a “clove” an iron with holes in it.
The threads were then “hackled” or graded, fine medium
and coarse. This was done by men. The man who “hackled” the flax in
this district was Paddy Gallagher, and he was always called the
“hackler.” He lived in Benbow, but is dead years and years ago. The
yard “hackled”) was then sent to a weaver, and he wove for each
household any kind of cloth, as cloth was never bought in shops in those days.
In this district there were almost 2 dozen weavers, and the yarn was woven by
hand on looms. The most famous weavers were Adam Johnston, Sam Johnston’s
father. Sam is about 65 years of age now. Adam had always 4 looms going he
employed 3 workmen. He was very clever at weaving. He could weave any pattern
in the linen for tablecloths, the two best were barley corn and honey comb. In
these patterns the threads had to be counted. He charged about 6d [pence?] per
yard and if finer cloth a little more.
Two brothers James and Robert Jamison were also good weavers. They were Robert Jamison’s father and uncle. Robert lives in the townland of Bohey and he is getting the pension now. Another famous weaver was Allingham the present Robie Allingham’s father. He lived in the townland of Bohey also.
Spinning and weaving
The following story was told by the girl it happened to, to Tommy
Siberry Bohey Dromahair, from whom it was got.
A man named Allingham who lived in Dowra was a weaver. He was weaving a piece of linen, and knew he had not enough yarn to finish the piece. So he said to his daughter Kate “Go down to Bohey to your uncles, and ask him for some yarn to finish this piece; I’ll have enough to keep me going until you come back.”
She came down, and got the yarn and started for home again. Crossing the mountain (the Screig) a drizzle came on. She heard a whistle “That whistle is from men coming from Dromahair Fair. I’ll follow them, and I’ll soon be home” she said to herself. She was travelling across the mountain, but when she followed the direction of the whistle she was on level land. She knew she had lost her way. She travelled on and on and saw a lake with ducks swimming on it. She became very tired, and could not find her own house. At last she came to a field, where sheep were lying. She had often heard that sheep were lucky, so she raised one of them up and lay down in its track. With that she saw a light. She made for the light. A man and his son lived in the house. She told them who she was, and that she couldn’t find her home. The son left her just at her own door, and returned home again. Her mother just happened to look out, and saw her, she was walking past the door. The mother ran after her, and brought her in. She went to bed, and wasn’t able to rise for 6 weeks. At the edge of the house there was a gap, and the ground was soft. The girl’s people next morning discovered her tracks here and crowds of wee tracks all around them. The weaver wove on and on and on and had enough yarn to finish his piece, and had leavings.
In olden times spinning was carried on much the same as now, only the women made their own dyes. The first year’s growth of briars, flagon roots and heather, together with Loquid[?] and Cutbear all mixed boiled and strained.
On almost every farm there are the remains of an old lime kiln.
Limestone quarries are plentiful. There are two in this townland of
Corrigeencor — Lonigans and Birds. The limekilns were about 10 ft in height
and were generally built up against a high bank, or in a hollow. They were
built of stone and mortar, and were a round shape like a well. At the bottom
there was a hole big enough for a shovel to be put in for the lime.
People got the stones in the nearest quarry. They broke the stones into small pieces. They got rotten sticks, and very dry turf and put this in the bottom of the kiln, then a row of stones, and then a row of turf, then a row of stones, and a row of turf, and so on until the kiln was full. Then the fire was lit in the little hole at the bottom. As the lime stones burnt the burnt lime was taken out at the bottom, and more stones, and turf added until each farmer had enough lime. He used the lime for crops and meadow, and for his houses.
Long ago most of the houses were thatched, but within the last five years, thatched houses are rapidly disappearing. In the olden days every man could thatch, but now-a-days there are only a few real good thatchers in this district. George Jamison Bohey, Robie Jamison Bohey, Phelim Mac Morrow Gortgarrigan, Johnny Silberry Bohey all are very good thachers. Phelim Mac Morrow can’t thatch now as he has lost his eyesight, but he was a famous thatcher. Of course the out offices are still thatched with rushes. The dwelling houses are thatched with “keib” (a kind of grass which grows on Benbow.) When it is growing in the Spring and Summer, if children walked on it barefooted it would cut their feet it’s so sharp. It’s about 1-1/2 feet high. It gets loose in the ground in Winter, and can be collected by raking or pulling with the hand). The thatcher starts at the “easen” (the part of the roof next the wall) and works up to the rigging in “streaks.” Each “streak” is about 1 ft in width. He gets as much “ceib” straw as will do the “streak” in width and spreads it evenly across taking care to have the ends of the straw even next the “easen.” Then he leaves a scollop across the straw about 3/4 way up. He tightens this scallop by sticking down a scallop on each side of it, and at each end of it. This is called “pinning” the scallop. He next get[s] more straw and spreads it evenly across over the 1st piece but just letting the even ends down as far so as to cover the first scallops he put in. He continues in this way until he reaches the rigging. Then he makes another “streak” and so on until he has the roof all covered. Then he puts on a rigging of straw just binds the straws over the top and scallops it on each side, and trims any uneven ends of straw. The scallops are made from sally rods. They are about 2 ft in length, and are all pointed at each end even although the scallop that is “pinned” down doesn’t require to be pointed.
“Ceib ” makes the best thatch, often lasting for 10 years, next rye straw. Some people here grow as much rye as will thatch the house. Corn straw is also used.
Marriages in this district generally take place in Spring or Autumn, but never in Lent. “Marry in Lent, live to repent.” Now-a-days here, a young man and maid keep company with each other for a while before getting married. On the morning of the day fixed for the wedding the groom goes for the bride in a motor car, and the bridesmaid is at her house of course, and he brings the groom’s man along with him, and the four along with the bride’s father or brother go to the church together. Sometimes if the parties are rich enough there are two or more motor cars. The ceremony is performed in the church, the friends and well wishers of both parties go to the church to see them getting married. All come home to the bride’s mother, and they have breakfast, and then go to Sligo or Bundoran for the day. Then they all return to the groom’s home in the evening, where there is an invited party. That night straw boys visit the house. There are the boys and men of the district who dress themselves with straw hats and tie straw ropes round their legs. The hats come down over their faces, they turn their coats inside out, and after exchange coats. One of their number is able to play the fiddle as the violin is called. They knock at the door, and ask “Are we welcome?” and the answer is always “Yes.” They crowd in, and ask the bride and groom to dance, and the bride’s maid, and groom’s man, and then they dance themselves. Often times they are “treated” (this means they get a glass of whiskey to drink). Then they go away, and before going home take off their hats, and ropes and burn them on the road side.
Long ago in
this locality “matches” were made. Johnny Armstrong, Cloonaquin,
Manorhamilton, who is dead this couple of years was a great match maker.
Francis McKinley Benbow who is still alive was also very good at matches. If a
man wanted a wife he would go to a matchmaker, and ask him did he know any girl
who would make him a suitable wife. He generally did. A night was appointed to
make the match. The two men went to the house, the would-be groom bringing a
pint of whiskey with him. The girl and her people were informed before hand of
their coming, and if she didn’t want him the two were not allowed to come at
all, and if she did the match was settled that night. There was all kinds of
refreshments, and more whiskey was sent for. The fortune was settled, and very
often if the father had not enough money for the fortune, he made it up by
giving cattle. The arrangements made for the wedding day etc. and very often
the bridegroom came back once more before the wedding. Both parties invited
their friends and neighbours to the wedding, and they all went to the church on
horses and side cars. When the party was leaving for the church, anyone who had
a gun always fired shots, and also when they were coming back. There were
bonfires lit as well. There was a party in the brides home that night, and
always plenty to eat and drink. They danced until morning, and they were
visited by straw boys. Old shoes were thrown after them going to the church for
luck. The bride stayed at her father’s home for 2 or 3 days and then the groom
brought her home. This was called the “drag home,” and that night there
was more dancing and feasting and straw boys as before.
Then there were run-a-ways. If a girl was keeping company with a man, and wanted to marry him, but her parents were opposed to her then she ran away. This meant that her suitor brought her to a friend’s house generally a relative, and left her there. She stayed in that house until her parents came, and brought her home, and shortly after she got married.
“Marry on Monday, marry for health
Marry on Tuesday, marry for wealth
Marry on Wednesday, best day of all
Marry on Thursday, marry for crosses
Marry on Friday, marry for losses
Marry on Saturday, no day at all”
There is a saying about what the bride has to wear
“Something borrowed, something blue, something old, and something new”
Happy is the bride that the sun shines on”
Happy is the corpse that the rain rains on”
Local place names
Cata rocks, –
Name given to hugh rocks as long ago wild cats lived there, and an animal
called “mada-cran” used to hunt them.
“Crocán” = because there is a little mound in it
“Comfry” Garden = Long ago pigs were fed on “Comfry” leaves, and this weed still grows in this garden
The Wren – “Jenny” Wren is here every season, the tail is always erect, and eyes sparkling, very small brown bird with a “top” on head. She always gives forth a ringing note, and can be seen flitting about our hedgerows. Although so small the wren is the king of the birds the fable being – All the birds gathered together to consult which of them would be king. After much thought and worry they decided that the bird which flew highest would be king. The eagle was about to be proclaimed king, when the little wren who was on the eagle’s back fluttered above them all, and thus was proclaimed king. The wren builts its nest in the thatch of houses, or in a white or black thorn bush. The nest is roofed like a little cottage. She builds several nests during the season probably to shield her in bad weather. She lays from 10 to 20 small blue eggs.
On St. Stephen’s night the boys of the district collect together, and go from house to house and say the following rhyme at the door
“The wren, the wren, the king of all birds
Was caught in the firs on St Stephen’s Day
Up with the kettle, and down with the pan
Give me a penny to bury the wren”
They then dance, and are given donations. They then “rise a dance”
The crow is supposed to be a very clever bird. He is called the carrion crow. He is about 18 inches in length, and he has a glossy black plumage “As black as a crow.” His appetite is his weakness. He eats worms, toads, frogs, rabbits, mice, and any dead and decaying flesh, he often robs fields of newly sprouting corn, bird’s nests of their eggs, and would even eat young chickens. They mate early in Spring and build a large stick nest in a tall tree. The eggs are spotted blue green, and the male provides the female with food while she sits on the eggs. The young eat ravenously and both parent birds never rest trying to satisfy their family with food.
If crows built together very high it’s a sign of a dry Summer.
“Crow, crow, the nest is afire
The wee pot is boiling over.”
Rooks are distinguished from common crows by their glossy, purply-black, satiny suit of feathers. They build together in a rookery, in tall trees. There is a rookery at James McCordick’s Bohey Dromahair. The mother bird weaves twigs in and out and smoothes them down with her beak, and fixes it with mud. When it dries it is very snug and safe. The eggs are a pretty green marked with grey and brown. Rooks eats insects when young but when older eat young turnips and are often seen in the corn fields.
Redbreast in a cage
Puts all Heaven in a rage.”
“Cheer up” the robin cries, and he practices what he preaches. On a frosty morning when worms are out of reach of his hungry beak, or when the ground is covered with snow, he never (?) but we hear his silvery note. Everyone loves the robin, when we dig in our gardens, we are sure to see a robin quite close, and will even perch on the spade. In the Winter robins come in to our school, and they come into our homes. They become very tame. Tommy Siberry, Bohey, Dromahair has two pet robins. They have their nest in the thatch and come hopping into the kitchen, and they perch on the chairs and table and even on Tommy’s shoulder. He feeds them with crumbs.
She builds in a mossy bank or in a ivy bush and often in the river bank. Her nest is made of mud and feathers and hair. She lays from 4 to 6 whitish eggs with pinkish spots. The male’s breast is a little paler than the females and the young robins like young thrushes have speckled breasts. There is a legend told that when Jesus was on the Cross, a robin came, and tried to pick the thorns out of his head. While doing so a drop of blood fell on the bird’s breast, and every robin has a red breast since.
Bird lore – story
A number of men were employed working in a quarry. In this quarry the rocks had to be blasted. A robin had built her nest in a little opening in one of the rocks. The men had worked as far as the rock in which the robin’s nest was. They held a consultation about the robin’s nest. “Oh” said one of the men “Catch her and I’ll pick out her eyes, and then she can’t see where the nest is.” “No” said another man. Catch her and I’ll break her two legs, and then she won’t hop in our way.” “No” said a third “Give her to me and I’ll break her wings so that she can’t fly[“]. Four blasts were set, and the men all went away a short distance from the quarry until the blasts would go off. Three went off and the 4th didn’t. The men came back to the quarry and the 4th blast then went off. The man who said he’d pick out the robin’s eyes was struck in the eyes and was blind for life. The second man who was to break the robin’s legs got his own legs broken, and the third man got his arms broken.
The blackbird is a very common bird. He begins to sing and the end of February, and soon is mated, and make preparations for nesting.
The nest is built of grass and mud, and lined with finer grass. It is usually in a hedge or low bush. The eggs are bluish green speckled with brown. There are usually four or five in a full clutch. Very often a pair of blackbirds will raise two broods in the course of a season.
The adult cock has beautiful black plumage, and a bright orange bill, the adult female is a kind of brown, and her breast is a lighter brown with dark markings.
The ” scaldies ” or young birds also are brown above, but marked with buff spots, their breasts are light brown with a dark tip to each feather.
Swallows, Martins and Swifts
The swallow is well known and a much loved bird, and their arrival about the 10th April is the unfailing sign of Spring. The long narrow pointed wings, and forked tail are characteristic of their family, which in general has dark over plumage, changing to lighter below. They feed on insects which they catch on the wing.
The common swallow is called the
chimney swallow. If the old nest has not been destroyed he will repair
it, but if he has to make a new one, he usually builds it under the eaves or against the beams of chimneys of a house or out building. If a swallow builds in a byre it is believed to be lucky, as the animals will take no disease. The swallow usually brings up two families during the season. The young birds, and their parents begin to leave the country in great flocks, they collect on the rigging of outhouses about the end of August or the beginning of September
The martin is very like his cousin the swallow except that the hind parts are covered with white feathers. The nest is always built against the side of a building, and the bird is often called the house martin.
The swift dresses in much the same style He has long sickle like wings. The swift like the swallow is a mason, buyt generally furnishes his own mortar. The nests are constructed of twigs, held together by a firm glue like substance which flows in a liquid form from the bird’s mouth.
The starling with its beautiful black plumage, brightly shot with purple, green, and steel blue and most of its feathers tipped with buff is a very common bird in this district.
It is a native bird, sings well, and can mimic the notes of other birds, or any sound that takes its fancy. Out of the fruit season, when its food is largely insects, farmers consider it a valuable addition, but a large flock of “stars” is not welcome in orchards. Before going to bed starllngs often gather in flocks, and go through the most wonderful exercises in the air. They rise, fall wheel, open out and close just as if they were drilling.
The house sparrow
The best known member of this family is the house sparrow or the cheeky sparrow, who comes to feed along with the hens. Although they feed on insects too, they do an enormous amount of damage to standing crops of grain and vegetables, and delight in pecking up newly sown seed. The hedge sparrow chiefly builds on banks sheltered by hedges or under hawthorn bushes. The cockoo often usurps the hedge sparrow’s nest. The house sparrow feeds on grain during the late Summer and Autumn, and is a great robber of stack yards in the Winter.
The pheasant is a large game bird. It is about 3 ft long including the tail, which represents half the length of the bird. The plumage is beautifully mottled brown and buff, with changeable lights of blue and green over the breasts of the birds. The nest is built on the ground among heather or dead leaves or branches, the female hatches ten to twelve eggs at a time.
The cuckoo is a bird of a dull greyish brown plumage. She arrives here in April. “The Cuckoo Storm” is always in April, and we don’t hear her singing until after the storm, although she is here.
Her maid as she is called here is the Ray-og. This is the bog sparrow its the same colour as the lark but not as big, follows her. The cuckoo is a shy bird, she builds no nest, but places her eggs one at a time in the nests of other birds even removing the eggs of the nest’s owner in order to leave plenty of room for her own. Once the egg is placed in her neighbours nest the cuckoo gives it no more attention, and it is hatched, and reared by its foster parents. While the young cuckoo is featherless and quite blind, it hoists its foster brothers and sisters one by one on its back, climbs backwards up the side of the nest, and tosses them out. In this was he secures for himself all the food the foster parents bring to the nest, and he grows very quickly and is soon larger than its foster parents. Sometimes the old bird alights on the youngster’s head, and feed him from here.
The cuckoo comes here for his favourite food, the woolly caterpillars. Few birds feeds on those insects, so the cuckoo can be forgiven his shortcomings
The cuckoo finds his voice her, it only the male bird sings, the female making a gurgling sound like water being poured into a bottle.
“The Cuckoo comes in April
He sings his song in May
In leafy June he changes tune
In July he flies away”
* * *
“The Cuckoo is a pretty bird
She sings as she flies
She brings us good tidings
And tells us no lies
She sucks eggs of small birds
To make her voice clear
But she never says Cuckoo
Till Summer is near “
The bird that “at Heaven’s gate sings,” is a little brown fellow, but he and the rest of his family in spite of his plain appearance, are renowned as songsters. The skylark soars until he fades from view, and only his melody wafted downwards tells of his onward flight. Then still fluttering and singing he comes again into sight, swinging in wide aerial circuits until, his song ended, he sinks to the earth nest where among the grasses his little mate is waiting for his return. These birds multiply rapidly. Each pair will rear several broods of from three to five birds in a season
The Grouse is the sportsman’s favourite bird, and the eagerness with which it has been shot has made it very scarce in these quarters. It is the habit of these dull plumaged birds to lie hidden in the heather or grass until the dogs are upon them, then with a sudden great whirring sound, and almost the speed of an arrow, they rise before the eyes of the hunter who must be both cool and quick if his game bag is to be full. The dress of the female is an example of what naturlists call “protectaive coloration.” It is so nearly the colour of her surroundings that if she remains motionless on her nest among the grass and heather and leaves, even a keen eyed fox or hawk will pass her by. They eat seeds, fruits, and insects. Their nests are on the ground, and the hen takes entire [care?] of the ten to fourteen eggs and of the young brood.
Bird-Lore – Finches
all have a stout bill conical in shape with great seed crushing power, and 9 feathers
in the hand section of the wing and 12 tail feathers. They migrate sometimes
over a small area and the nest is in low bushes or trees and sometimes on the
ground. Little harm can be said of finches, they render valuable aid to the
farmer as they feed largely on weed seeds. The plumage varies from the dusky
coloured sparrows to the vivid blues, scarlets and yellows of the more
brilliantly coloured species.
A well known member is the bull finch. He is a familiar visitor to our gardens, especially in Spring when he is sometimes very destructive to the fruit on the currant bushes. The chaffinch is a very common bird, and stays with us all the year round.
The goldfinch is one of the most beautiful of the finches. Over 5 inches long, the male bird is a golden yellow, with a black crown, and yellow and black wings. He and his olive green mate are found wherever the common dandelions and thistles grow. His habits and song are as cheery as his coat.
All above informant was teacher Annie Gillmor
Our townland Bohey, by Peggy Maxwell.
The name of our townlands is Bohey. The parish of Drulease. The Barony of Cloon Lougher. There are 28 families in Bohey and 128 people living in it. Armstrongs and Jamesons are the most common names. There are 3 slated houses in Bohey and 16 thatched houses and the rest have been reconstsructed lately. It is called Bohey because it is situated at the bottom of Benbow mountain. Lon ago the people used to graze their cows on the mountain and them bring them down to be milked, hence Bo = a cow Hey ?? = house. There are 8 old people (over seventy) in it. They don’t know Irish. Mr Tommy Sibbery, Bohey, Dromahair is a good storyteller and Mrs W Duncan, Bohey, Dromahair and Mrs R Jameson, Bohey, Dromahair are good storytellers in English. There are 4 houses in ruins. The people nearly always go to America or to Scotland. In July there is hardly a house in Bohey but has Scotch visitors. The land is boggy. There is a wood at Sam Armstrongs of Bohey, Dromahair. There are rivers and lakes and streams in Bohey.
Peggy Maxwell, Bohey, Dromahair.
From The Schools Collection – Masterson NS contribution.
Old School – Carrigeencor
Two sisters, Misses Golden, taught a private school in a house belonging to the late Mr Fallis Middleton opposite his own entrance gate in Cloonaquin about two miles from Manorhamilton The dwelling house now occupied by his grandson Walter Middleton, and the remains of the school are still to be seen, and a wall surrounding a square which was the old playground.
They had only about six or eight pupils at a time as they were only sent there till they were big enough to go to the Carrigeencor School, and the highest standard in the school was third. They were taught Reading, Spelling, Writing and Arithmetic. They wrote on rough slates with slate pencils and sat on stools. The got a headline each day on their slates. They had no Blackboard, and were not taught Irish. The parents paid a small sum to the teachers and they were also paid by a Mr Latouche Bromahaire. Mr John Stuart who lives in Cloonaquin went to this school as a small boy, and so did Mr Alec David, Buggaun, aged 69 yrs, who told me about the school. 50 years ago these old ladies were buried in Manorhamilton now graveyard but there is no stone to mark the grave. The school was called Cnocán and the place is still called Coran.