Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/74

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54 Collectanea.

Fergus,^ a reputed "wishing seat" remained in 1902, in a side wall of the ruin. There were others in yew-trees at the Turret of Doonass, over the beautiful Salmon Leap of the Shannon, and in the garden of Fortanne near Tulla. Whether these originated in the belief of the peasantry or in a conceit of the owners I know not, but their repute dates back before the memory of the living. It was also said in Ennis that a wish made "on the right day" in the cave of Lismulbreeda, a few miles to the south-west of the town near the Kilrush road, was fulfilled. I could not learn the all-important day. If you wish "reasonably" on seeing a shooting star, before its flash has faded, you will also get your desire. When the new moon is first seen, turn thrice " sunward " (left to right), preferably bowing and spitting at each turn ; this brings luck or satisfies the wish specified. A horse shoe, or piece of iron, when accidentally found, should be thrown with a silent wish over the left shoulder. The wish fails if spoken aloud or if you see where the iron falls. It is also good to pray, or wish, on eating any vegetable or seeing a flower for the first time in the year, or on the arrival of the swallow or the cuckoo. You will get your wish if you count nine stars for nine successive nights. You should bless (or wish good to) ploughing or other such work, or a person or animal that you praise. " God save all here " was a common salute on entering a cottage, and I have known the formula " except the cat " added to this courtesy.

Foundation sacrifices. — Horse skulls were buried under the floor or in recesses in the walls of a house. When the drawing-room floor of Edenvale^*^ near Ennis was recently taken up, four horse skulls were found, one in each corner. At Moyreisk, a house of the Vesey Fitzgerald family near Quin, horse skulls were found in recesses in the wall, and the same arrangement occurred at my old home Attyflin, near Limerick, and elsewhere. These burials may probably be regarded, — like the broken querns placed in house foundations at Terry Island in Donegal,^i and cats built up alive

'Newmarket can be located on the parish map, (vol. xxi, p. 180), as at Kilnasoola, to the east of the Fergus estuary. The local Irish name of the village is now, as in the early fourteenth century, Corrasoola.

^"The main wing was built by George W. Stacpoole circa 1795-1810.

^^ The Ulster Join-nal of ArchcEology, O.S. vol. i. (1853), p. 146.