for obvious reasons, it is hard to get any information. I have noticed on three occasions skulls with nails driven into them. In the last case, at Killone near Ennis, I was told by old people in that district that this was secretly done by persons suffering from chronic headache.
There is some belief relating to moss upon skulls which I could not get explained, but I was asked not to pull it off.
To take a human bone from a graveyard causes a ghost to follow and disturb you until the bone is replaced in consecrated ground. I heard of a young Englishman carrying off the end joint of a finger bone from Quin "Abbey," and being so worried that next day he walked some miles to the nearest graveyard to get rid of it. A curious story of a haunting skull, stolen from a Clare graveyard and for many years refusing to be buried, is known to me, but is too long and too little connected with Clare folklore to be told here. Strange to say, despite the deepest regard for the dead, their remains are treated with little respect in most of the graveyards, which display skulls, bones, and literally stacks of coffin planks. Many remember the enormous pile of skulls and bones at Quin "Abbey" before 1878, and lesser piles at Killone, Dromcreehy, Kilmaccreehy, Doora, and Tomfinlough,—at the last church neatly stacked. There is a strong feeling against removing a body from the place of its first burial to one in another parish, and this has led to more than one case of removal and private burial in perhaps the same churchyard. In the case of the Keane family, who made temporary use of an old vault at Kilmaley until a new burial place was ready, the coffins disappeared, and were long afterwards found buried in the adjoining cemetery with the name plates under them. I remember hearing, at the time of the alleged desecration, the belief expressed that the disappearance was only to prevent removal to another parish. It was firmly believed that sickness and death would come into the other parish with the remains.
Cures.—The mud and water in the socket of the cross at Kilvoydan, near Corofin, cure warts, and so does the water in Doughnambraher "Font," a basin stone near an old "killeen"
- I.e. Dabhach na m brathār, or Friar's Vat. See sketch by Miss G. C. Stacpoole in Plate IV.