Class activity: National Folklore Collection – The Schools Collection @duchas_ie

The National Folklore Collection

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Between 1937 and 1939, stories written across 5,000 primary schools in the Irish Free State were collected by the Irish Folklore Commision. Children were asked to record stories told to them by their parents, grandparents and neighbours. The stories gathered are now being made available online.

We can search for our school using the map on Duchas.ie

See if you can find any of your family or neighbours. You may need to look at different schools too.

Answer the following questions with your partner:

1 What was the name of the teacher in Craggagh?

2 How many pupils recorded stories?

3 Do any of the 1930s pupils have the same surnames as our 2015 pupils?

4 What places in our locality are mentioned?

5 In what years were these stories written?

6 What is provided for men who come to a funeral house, according to Desmond Ruane?

7 Why according to James Maloney did people stop the clock in a corpse house?

8 In Mary Costello’s story about butter churning, why should a person place a penny under the churn?

9 When predicting the weather, what does a cat with his back to the fire mean? (see Thomas Sheeran’s story)

10 What sort of weather should you expect if you see the birds coming near the house?

11 What reward did the cattle dealer give to the young boy who found his money (see “Money Recovered)

12 Why can nobody find the pot of gold in James Conlon’s field? (see Desmond Ruane’s “Hidden Treasure”)

13 What was the result of John McManus’ promise not to dig for the gold of which he and dreamt about? (see Patrick Costello’s “Hidden Treasure)

14 Take note of the names of the children who lived in your village. Ask at home tonight if any of them are still alive.

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