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.

Listowel – Hidden Treasures

SCHOOL: Listowel | ADDRESS: Listowel, Co. Kerry

Ireland Storys - Finding hidden treasure.
Treasure… or Not

(1) Once upon a time there was a man who dreamt of a pot of gold that was buried under a white thorn bush in the centre of a field. He did not bother about the dreams but he dreamt about it the third night and then he made up his mind to dig for it.

The next night at twelve o’clock he went to the bush and began to dig the earth. He came to a big flag and as he was about to raise the flag a big bull rushed from the bushes and chased the man.

The next night he went to dig the gold but that night he had a bottle of holy water and he made a ring of it around the bush. As he was digging the same bull rushed from the bushes but when he came to the ring he turned back again.

The man pulled up the flag and found a pot of gold under it.

(2) About 100 years ago a dozen boys from Gahard Lisen Liseltin found a cave in the above place. Some went in to explore and their comrades thinking they were too long inside followed after them until eleven had gone into the cave.

The twelvth man got suspicious when no one was returning and he raised the alarm. All the neighbours came on the scene.

They called for volunteers to go into the cave and by forming a human chain they came on the man who entered the cave and he was dead and for the men who formed the human chain there would be many many more deaths because they took a lighted candle with them which went out when they found the dead man.

At that time they had not the help of present day science to find the ten other bodies so that ends the exploring of the Caves of Guhard.

(3) In the townland of Dirha, near Listowel there is a hill of gravel in a bog. Many stories are told about this mound.

The old people say that three Danish chiefs who were killed while fighting with the Irish were buried here, and that the Danes drew sand and gravel in bags from the River Feale and from the River Gale to make a hill.

Then they planted white thorn bushes on the top of the mound. At the base of the hill there is a well of clear water.

Some years ago a man dreamt that there was gold buried under the Knockane. He went at night with two companions and they took with them a cock. After digging for some time, they were chased by a bull and they all ran awaw.

An old person said that they should have thrown a fist of mud at the bull and that he would have left them alone. The old people also say that every night fairy horsemen go riding here.

(4) There was a [man] who lived in Tipperary and he do had a dream about gold that was buried in Tralee beside a bridge. He had the same dream three nights after one another.

The third night he carried a spade with him to dig the gold. Just as he was about to dig the gold a bull chased him. He came the second night and a woman chased him from it. The third night he came he met a man and the man told him that he was very foolish to come searching for gold and when he would go home to dig a hole in his own garden and that he would find gold.

He dug a hole and he found a big bag of gold and he was for ever more.


The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0405, Page 416” by Dúchas © National Folklore Collection, UCD is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0.

Proud Irish Heritage Certificates