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Cultural Heritage & Folklore
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Local Folklore

Maran Bréag é, is mór an scéal é…………If it isn’t a lie, it’s great news.

The following are stories and folklore gathered from National  School children around 1937/8. 


Ur-a-bhoiar is situated in the parish of Kiltormer in the county of Galway. It is about a half mile from the village of Kiltormer. There is a fort there which is supposed to be about 40 feet in height. People  believe that there is gold and firearms hidden there. It is supposed to have been build by the “Firbolgs” who were in Ireland long ago. 

There are many stories told about the fort and this is one of them. Long ago there was a station in a house beside the fort. When Mass was over the priest’s clerk went to see the fort. He forced his way in there an opening but he was not able to get out. When he was taken out he complained of headache and he died later. It is believed that it was the foul air that killed him. 


Adderagoole is a townland in the Parish of Mullagh, Co. Galway. There is a fort there which is owned by a man named Finnerty. Long ago each man had to skin a piece of land which he had rented from the landlord. It was said that one man had to skin  and sow the fort as he had no place else to get a piece of land. People did not like anybody to interfere with the fort. He went one evening to the fort and he built a small heap of stones on the tip. When he went next morning the stones were scattered but he began to skin the fort anyway. The first sod he dug a hare ran out from under it. He got a pain in his knee and he never got better till he died. 


Belview is situated in the parish of Lawrencetown in the county of Galway. There was a very big house there which was owned by a man named Lawrence. There was a window in the house for every day in the year. There are avenues leading to the house. There is a gate about a mile from the school called the ”New Gate” which was erecter by W. Lawrence. There are images of mermaids cut out in stone there. It is said that W. Lawrence worshipped the mermaids.
On one occasion he was going to America he had his valet with him. The valet was a married man with a wife and family. When they were sailing a mermaid attacked the ship. Lots were drawn to see who would have to be thrown out to the mermaid and the lot fell on W. Lawrence. Since Lawrence was a gentleman the lots were drawn again and the lot again fell on W. Lawrence. The valet offered to be thrown out to the mermaid instead of his master, provided that W. Lawrence would compensate his wife and family. Lawrence agreed to this and as the valet was about to be thrown out the mermaid smiled and swam away. When W. Lawrence returned to Ireland he got many images of the mermaids cut in stone. 


Cartron is situated in the parish of Cappatagal in the county Galway. At one time there is a house there which was owned by a man named O’Connor who kept servants. On one occasion the servants gave the keys of the orchard to the workmen so that they could steal apples during the night. The went into the orchard but they could find no apples although there were plenty there before. They went back a second time and there was a fire lighting on the walk  before them. They ran away and did not steal anything after that.
After O’Connor leaving the house a doctor and his wife came to live there. They kept a workman. One night the doctor went on a sick call. The doctor’s wife went with him. They did not return that night. There was no one in the house but the workman (James Staunton) That night he heard walking in each of the rooms.
One night one of W. O’Connor’s workmen was in bed and he was very thirsty. He said to himself “I wish to God I had a drink”. A man handed him a drink and he took the water and drank it. He handed the cup to the man who disappeared as quickly as he had come.
Near this place there was a house being built, when it was built, there was a cry heard every night. For peace the owner of the house invited the cry into a room in the house. It was never heard afterwards. 

The Duel 

The last duel that was fought in Ireland is supposed to have been fought in Ballydonagh a short distance from Kiltormer. The duel was fought between Callanan of Eyrecourt and Donnellan of Ballydonlon. There was a hunt ball in Lismany on the day of the hunt. When Callanan and Donnellan were dressing for the ball it was found that Donnellan’s valet forgot to put a shirt with the suit. Callanan offered to give him one and he accepted it. 
During the night Callanan thought that Donnellan was dancing too often with Callanan’s fiancée and he made a remark about Donnellan wearing a borrowed shirt, hot words followed and Donnellan challenged Callanan to fight a duel at 6 o’clock the following morning at Ballydonagh. Seconds were chosen and the duel was fought and Callanan was killed. It is said that as Callanan was crossing a field a short cut to the place of the duel a woman met him and told him “to go round by the road that he would be time enough where he was going” It is also said that Callanan shot a robin the day before which is considered an unlucky thing to do. The pistol that shot Callanan was called the Angel and is silver mounted. A man in Kiltormer has it still in his possession. His father gave a new side car in exchange for it.
Beside the field there is a house which is called Francis Madden’s. There are several figures cut in stone on this building. They principally represent sailors. A short distance from the house is a stone supposed to be erected by Francis Madden in memory of his son. The inscription is not very clear at he present time. It appears strange to see a monument in the middle of a pasture field.
During the rebellion of 1798 a number of men who were gun running came to Francis Madden’s on night. They demanded any guns or other firearms that were in the house. The owner of the house refused them admission and also refused to give up any arms that he possessed. They then proceeded to break the door. Madden opened fire on them and two of them were shot. They are supposed to be buried near the house.

The Soldier’s Stone

 There is a large stone in the middle of a large field about three miles from the parish of Kiltormer and it is called the soldier’s stone. During the battle of Aughrim there was a soldier passing through that field on horseback. There were some people watching for him when he was returning home so as to kill him. When he was passing through it , the rushed out and killed him. It is supposed that this stone came on the very spot where he was killed and that no human hands ever put it there.
The soldiers name was Peter O’Dowd and his name was written on it. On the night of his anniversary there were two people passing by the stone and they heard music coming form under it and when he was two years dead some other people were passing by it and the could see little people dancing around it.
It is supposed that at 12 o’clock at the present time when people are passing by it, there can be a light seen running around it.