Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/82

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58 Collectanea.

charm for toothache was to rub the gum with a human fingerbone. At Lough Eenagh, in the same parish, people used to pick and chew the bark of an ancient hawthorn bush at a holy well as a cure for toothache.

Cattle cures at Loughs Eenagh and Fergus will be given later. The water of the seven streams of Teeskagh, a wild glen in the heart of the terraced limestone hills in the north-west corner of Kilnaboy parish, cures all sickness (nausea), indigestion, and stomach complaints ; it first cured the famous Glasgeivnagh cow-^^ In the same district difficult childbirth could be aided by hanging on the sufferer's bed the clothing of a man whose wife was reputed to have been unfaithful to him.

Prophylactics. — It is lucky to kill a bird or an animal on St. Martin's Eve,^^ and near Bodyke in Kilnoe parish some of the blood of a hen was put on the four corners of a house, and the rest mopped up by a rag and hidden in the rafters. Holy water and "quickbean" slips are sprinkled and set in potato drills in that parish, but secretly, or they lose their efficacy.^*' In Kilnaboy and other parishes near Corofin, meal used to be tied up in a corner of an infant's clothes for luck when it was taken to baptism. A patch of untilled land was left untouched when an old- established grass field was ploughed in Carran parish. A small sheaf is sometimes left in the corner of a field in the Tulla district as an offering to St. Brigit. This is to improve the crop, but must be done with care, as in one case a hazel stick was put into such a sheaf to " take " the butter of the owner of the crop.

A family relic of Dr. G. MacNamara is a small wooden image of the infant Saviour, which prevents the house where it is kept from taking fire, and extinguishes fire when flung into another house, even when the latter is burning fiercely. This recalls St. Declan's crozier, which put out the fire of a burning " fort "

2^ So commonly told by the older folk at Tullycommaun.

^See MS. Rawlinson, B 5i2.f io8.b2. St. Martin conferred the tonsure on St. Patrick, in recognition of which the latter gave him a pig for every monk on the eve of his feast. The origin of the Michaelmas sheep and Michael's portion in Ireland is given similarly by the Rev. G. Keating in his History of Ireland (middle of seventeenth century), Bk. ii. sec. iv.

"^^ So the Molony family of Coolreagh townland.