National Folklore Collection

Templeport Development Association

Dúchas Schools Collection - Cavan


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Paddy and his Mother

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0963,

The Floating Stone of Inch Island

The story on this page has been taken from the Dúchas web site, page and pages following. An image of the original manuscript can be viewed on the Dúchas page as well as more detailed information about the informant and recorder of the story.
The numbers on the left are original page numbers and are for researchers wishing to find the original page.

Copyright and licence information appears at the bottom of this page.

Page 181
Long ago there lived a priest in a place called Garadice in the county Leitrim. He

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was a prior. He had some cattle out byers. There came on one night, a great fall of snow and a cold driving wind with it, so the cattle started to look for shelter, or to warm themselves by running. They never stopped till they came to the shore of Templeport Lake in the County Cavan.
As the bird flies it would be about two and a half miles they ran. When the priest got up he saw that his stock were all gone, so he traced them in the snow; and found them at the lake shore. At that time there was a Catholic church standing on the east side of the lake for there was no other church at that time. In that lake there is an island called Inch Island and at that time there lived a man and his wife and it happened that there was a baby born the night of the storm. The priest was calling to his cattle to get them on the way for home, and he was heard by the man on the island, and he came out and called across the water to the prior. '' I want you to baptize an infant who does not seem strong and I'm afraid it might die without

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baptism '' '' Well bring it out to me and I'll baptize it '' '' There is no cot or corragh here '' '' Is there nothing you could put it on and float it over.''
'' There is nothing only these great flags that were always lying here as long as long as I remember ''
'' Well put your shoulder to it and push it out '' The man thought it an impossibility, but as the good priest told him, he prepared to do as he was told.
The flag was eight feet long and three feet six wide. The man put his shoulder to the flag and to his astonishment, the great flag slid into the water, and floated.
'' Go now and put the child in its cradle and put it and yourself on the flag and come over here in great haste. The man brought out the cradle and the babe in it, and as soon as they got on it the flag floated to the priest's feet on the shore, so he baptized the child and said '' That will be a great saint, his name will last forever. He was called Mogue.
St Mogue's clay cures to the present day. Inch Island is the burying ground of a great many families, yet the great floated, and when there was anyone to be interred in Inch the coffin was put on the flag and without

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any more effort from anyone it brought the corpse to the island and continued to do so until it was desecrated by a pair that had no reverence for God or any of his miracles and as soon as that vile act was done on the flag it broke in two. One half sank where it was, and never was seen again.
The other half floated over to Roy shore and settled there on the strand. It was a blessing, but when it was desecrated it turned to a curse for some wicked person found out that every person who went near the stone was cursed, and the half of the curse fell on them and the half of the curse fell on the curser.
A man in that district told me that he knew a woman who went and swept the stone and put a silver sixpence on it to give her curse to a man who put her out of a little house and garden.
The man got out of his bed one night very soon after she gave the curse. People looked for him three days and nights.
He was found in a quarry full of water and was drowned. To make the curse they had to sweep the stone and put sixpence on it.
They must be very wicked and determined when

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they knew they would get half of the curse themselves.
The woman who did this went mad about the country in rags and would not remain in any place for long, and she died in less than a year.
The cursing began to get common amongst people. The neighbours gathered and dug a deep pit and buried the stone.
That was the last of the cursing. The stone was buried about 55 years ago. John Hastings a native of the place saw all this happening to the cursed man above mentioned and the woman who put the curse on him. J. Hastings died not so very long ago. Told by John Hastings some years ago

Informant John Hastings
School: Bawnboy
No other details given



Thanks to Bernadette McGovern who transcribed this and a great many other pages of the The Schools' Collection, from the National Folklore Collection Archives.

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