This booklet is concerned with aspects of folklore which were written down and delivered as papers by members, at monthly meetings of Skerries Historical Society – formerly The Old Skerries Society, founded in 1948. The author’s name and the year is noted after each extract.
One paper in particular deserves mention. This was researched in 1995 by Joan Desmond and relies for material on folklore collected by children and organised by their teachers at the local primary schools during 1937-’38. The material may be viewed in the Folklore Department at UCD, Belfield, or in copied form at Dunlaoghaire and other public libraries.
A booklet, Irish Folklore And Tradition, was issued to Primary Schools to encourage and direct their participation in the project. The author says – “Due to the lack of documentary evidence the story of the Irish countryman will never be known unless all this seanchas, in English and in Irish, in all its variants, is recorded from every townland in Ireland…..”
Skerries Historical Society is grateful to the authors and relatives and to Mr. Bo Almquist of the Folklore Department, UCD, for permission to publish selected extracts.
Seán Ó Súilleabháin in Irish Folk Custom and Belief, says –
“Folklore is a very comprehensive term to connote the complex of oral traditions of all peoples. It embraces not only their popular beliefs and customs, but also their traditional tales, legends, songs, proverbs, prayers, charms and riddles …”
“It also includes local social history or seanchas as it is called. The amalgam of lore thus accumulated and retained is somewhat like the contents of an antique shop, crammed with objects of different ages, and lacking in any evident order or cohesion.”
While preparing material for an exhibition on the folklore theme it became apparent how much would have to be omitted. We hope that the reader will enjoy this larger selection from the Archives of Skerries Historical Society.
Exhibitions’ Sub-committee, Skerries Historical Society:
Maree Baker, Betty Balcombe, Stephanie Bourke, Joan Desmond, Joe Murray. Editor – John Harte. July 1995
Abbreviations used are as follows:
SHS = Skerries Historical Society
BNS = St. Patrick’s Boys’ National School
GNS = St. Patrick’s Girls’ National School
HNS = Holmpatrick National School
DL = Dunlaoghaire Public Library