National Folklore Collection
The story on this page has been taken from the Dúchas web site, page http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/5044796/5039143/5083191and 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.
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There was a man called Michael Dolan living in the townland of Tiernawanaugh about forty years ago: One day he was bringing a load of hay home to his haggard, and on his way home he had to cross a river.
When he came to it, the wooden bridge across it, was partly broken down, and it was not sufficiently wide for the cart to pass over it. Dolan stooped himself in such a way, that his back formed part of the bridge, and so let one wheel of the
cart pass over his back. He could also carry very heavy loads. Swift Runners:- There was a man called Thomas Curran living in the townland of Corratillion, about forty years ago; and he was a very swift runner. one day he made a bet,
with a man whose name is forgotten, but
we shall call him Peter, that he would run into the town of Ballinamore in Co. Leitrim and be in it before Peter who would ride to the town on a horse.
They appointed a place, from which they started on their race the following day. Curran was in the town a long time before the other man and he won his bet.
Great Walkers:- The people who lived in this locality, about thirty years ago, were great walkers. Men and women walked to Bundoran, a distance of thirty six miles, and they also walked to Lough Derg, in Co. Donegal, fasting and barefooted, a distance of forty miles. Mrs Arthur Devine, of Muineal, Bawnboy, Co. Cavan, often travelled to Glangevlin, a distance of fifteen miles.
She bought a basket of butter in Glangevlin, brought it home, and made it into rolls.
Next day she walked to Belturbet a distance of eighteen miles, and sold the butter. That is one example only of the distances she and others walked.
Great Jumpers:- About sixty years ago my great grandfather lived in Toboy, Bawnboy, Co. Cavan. His name was Francis Byrne. He used to jump across a razor which he held in his hands, in front of him.
He used to jump across a lead pencil in the same manner. He used to hold a lead pencil behind his back, and jump across it also. Great Mowers:- There lived a famous mower in this locality about forty years ago.
His name was Micheal McTeigue, and he lived in the townland of Arderra. He could mow an acre of meadow, with a scythe in one day.
Storytellers and Singers:- The was an old man living in the townland of Tobay, about twenty
years ago and his name was John Dolan. He spoke both Irish and English, and he was a famous singer and storyteller. He heard the stories and songs from his parents, and he learned to speak Irish by hearing his parents speaking it also.
Collector: Rose Elizabeth Byrne
Address: Muineal, Co. Cavan
Informant: Mr Michael Byrne
Occoupation: National teacher
Address: Muineal, Co. Cavan
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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