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.

The Murdering

SCHOOL: Windgap (C.), Thomastown | ADDRESS: Windgap, Co. Kilkenny

Ireland - ancient murders - local history
Murder most foul

About sixty years ago a terrible murder occured in Tipperary in Bally – Vad – lane. Clerys were the names of the couple that lived in the house. Clery’s wife was a wicked woman and many a person thought she was a witch.

It so happened that one day she was walking, she saw a pony and trap tied to a gate. Father Power was the name of the priest in that parish. When this woman saw the pony and trap she knew it was the pony and trap she knew it was the priest that owned it, so she cut the reins that tied the pony and trap to the gate and the pony got away.

The next day when the priest saw her he said “the world will wonder at the death you’ll get.”

Every night ramblers used to go to ramble to Clery’s house and they used to say to her in the bed. “Are you a witch or are you a fairy or are you the wife of Michael Clery.” And she used to answer. “No! I’m not a witch nor a fairy, but I am the wife of Michael Clery.”

From the day the priest said the curse to her she was always in bed after that she was an invalid. But in the nightime she used to go down to the fire to talk to the ramblers. One night she did not go down to the fire and her husband went up for her.

When they got her down they laid her across the fire and burned her to ashes. The idea the husband had, was he thought the real wife would come back.

Seven men and one woman were concerned with the murder. The seven men got eighteen years and the woman got one year. Today the men are dead and the woman is alive.


The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0851, Page 289” by Dúchas © National Folklore Collection, UCD is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0.

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