National Folklore Collection

Templeport Development Association

Dúchas Schools Collection - Cavan


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The Stray Sod

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0225

St Mogue 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.

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Page 372
St Mogue's Island is in the Parish of Templeport about a mile from the mainland. It is used as a burial ground by many families from the parishes of Templeport Corlough in Co Cavan, and Lower Drumreilly in Co. Leitrim.
The mortar used in building the old church, part of which is still standing, is called St Mogue's ''clay.'
Visitors to the island bring this ''clay'' with them and place it in their own homes. It is said that no house in which the clay is can be burned.
Portion of Con Dolan's residence and business establishment went on fire on a certain Sunday in April or May 19??
When the fire reached a room in which there was some St Mogue's clay it was got under control and ? room and the whole business end of the premises were saved.
A boat is now used to convey remains for interment to the island. Years ago a big stone shaped somewhat like a boat was used for this purpose. A lover and his lass got on this stone boat, desecrated it, with the result that the stone broke in two parts, and the boy and girl were drowned. One of the parts of this stone is still on the island. One part went to the mainland, the other to the island.
An altar stone was taken from the island but everything the spoiler had in the line of earthly goods.

P 373
gradually disappeared from him as well as his children so he brought the stone back to the shore where it is now.
One stone from the old church in the island was embedded in the gable wall of Kildough Church Bawnboy when this church was being built. People from the neighbourhood, and from Ballinamore 8 miles. distant, make a Station at this stone on the 31st. Jan, the day before the Station to St. Bridget's Well at Ballinamore.
The island is covered with shrubs, trees and bushes.
Since the Board of Health took charge of the burial grounds corpses must be put down 6' in the ground.
This is practically impossible on the island. I happened to be on the island at two funerals and though the gravediggers were well provided with ''Loys'' and hatchets yet they could not get down more than about 4 feet after working from 2 to 3 hours. as hard as they could.
The island is locally known as Inch island from the word inis meaning an island. It is about 300 or 600 yards at the widest part. There were other stone buildings besides the church on the island. Friars lived on it for centuries.
St Mogue the patron saint of it was at his death, Bishop of Ferns
People buried there are certain of heaven.

Collector Seán Ó hEslin
Informant not 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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