The stories told on these pages are from  a collection of folklore compiled by schoolchildren in Ireland in the 1930s. 
The children recorded (over&nbsp740,000 handwritten pages) of this material from their parents, grandparents and neighbours.

These are their stories in their own words.

Ballydehob – A Hidden Treasure

SCHOOL: Béal Átha an Dá Chab | ADDRESS: Ballydehob, Co. Cork

Proud Irish Heritage - Stories from Ireland. Treasure Island. Castle.
The Island Castle Ruins

Long ago there lived on a small island in Lough-Ine a between Skibbereen and Baltimore a chieftain named Labhra-O-Lencha He was very rich. It was said he had seven crocks of gold.

He lived all alone except for one servant man who used to cook, and wash, and row a boat which they kept to take them to and from the main land. It was his practice to go shooting wild fowl every day in the wood near by, as that was their chief food.

The ruins of the chieftain’s castle are still to be seen to this day, and it is thought that his remains were buried there, as also the seven crocks of gold.

The local people often thought of digging for the gold, and one night had removed to the island a boatful of implements in readness for the early morning to dig the gold, and when they got theyre next morning they could not find their spades, bars, or picks, but they all heard a rumbling noise like the peal of thunder, and a shower of masonry from the ruins was hurled after them.

They ran with their lives to their boat which was moored near by and rowed to the main land, and vowed they would never go looking for the hidden treasure again.

Some years after these happenings an elderly man, a fisherman by trade, was going fishing on Lough-Ine lake and was towing with a long line round the island for fish. He thought he heard someone calling him from the island. He immiadiately pulled up his boat, and went ashore on the island but could see nobody.

In his search he found a pick and shovel, and the idea struck him that he would search for the gold. He dug in a spot which was already marked as though for digging. He continued to dig a hole about three ft. in depth until his pick struck some hard substance.

He cleared away the earth, and he afterwards said he saw a crock plainly, and was in the act of stooping ro raise it when he was struck between the shoulders with a stone, and looking around he saw the loose earth which he had dug closing over the crock of gold again.

He at once hurried to his boat, and died in a short time after.

The Treasure is said to be there still, and nobody is enclined to dig it, and the old people around and about Lough-Ine say that Labhra – O – Lencha still gaurds his crocks of gold which are worth millions of pounds.


The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0291, Page 003” by Dúchas © National Folklore Collection, UCD is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0.

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