Our Stories


We did not have cookers in olden days, we would cook food outdoors. The men would light the fires. If the men did not light the fires, there would be nothing to eat. They used stump of tree. If it was raining, tar bars which is like a diesel bar would be cut and the men would make a stove out of it and put a chimney in. We would gather around the fire, telling stories and singing. It is not done these days around open fire, that all stopped when we moved into the houses. We still tell stories. The food was much nicer when we cooked outdoors, for example baked bread on the outdoor fire was nicer than using the cookers.


We would not stay long in the camps, we would only stay for about two to three weeks as we were on the side of roads. The men would have to find work as there was no social welfare. They would make their money by picking spuds, turf, making buckets, working in the bogs. We had no beds and would use golden straw as a bed. Missy’s mam would say don’t bring the maggot hay, which were known as a hairy molly (caterpillar) which would grow into butterflies.

Throwing Stones

We have many stories about the forts and fairies especially in Tuberclare in Co. Westmeath. One of the stories happened when the priest did the stations of the cross in a settled persons house. The man who lived in the house went up to a fort and brought down stones to the yard, as he was preparing for the priest to do the stations of the cross. After the priest did the stations of the cross, each time the man and woman sat down at the table, stones were getting thrown into the house from the yard. They called the priest back asking what was going on, saying that they have no peace. The priest asked where they got the stones from and they told him from the fort. The fairies would not let them rest. The priest told them to collect every stone and not to leave a pebble behind and to bring them all back up to the fort.

Deaf man

Another story was about a deaf man who took a bundle of sticks from a fort. The man had a dream about the fort and was told to bring the sticks back and he would get his hearing back. The man never brought them back as the sticks were burned in the fire, so he did not get his hearing back.

There are also stories about houses been built on the forts and
people getting no rest when they moved in.