Seán Crowe

Interview by Tomás Mac Conmara on November 12, 2009

Gender: Male

Birth date: 1926

Area: East Clare

Parish: Tulla

Report date: November 17, 2011

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Time Description
File 1 0:00:00 - 0:12:45 FOLKLORE - Seán talks about a man in the locality who was supposed to have seen a ghost. He tells this story which happened in Broadford about a hundred years ago. After this, Sean tells a few more stories where someone was believed to have seen a ghost. One of them involves the man that was married to Thomas MacDonagh's sister.
0:12:46 - 0:14:54 THE GREAT FAMINE - Seán says there was a house and one night during a storm a tree fell on it. All the family weren't injured and after this incident they built a new house. Their original house was used a soup kitchen during the Famine.
0:14:55 - 0:31:06 FOLKLORE - Sean says that he has a poem about the 'Pithathailbuí' He says she used to live up in Violet Hill in view of Drummon Cross. It was her custom to sit on a stone either knitting or sowing. Sean was told that she used to murder horsemen. She would jump on the horses back and stab the rider. This happened so often, the priest in O' Callaghan's Mills ended up giving the job of outwitting the witch to a man named Murphy. He didn't kill the witch but instead sentenced her to prison for eternity on island in a lake. She was only allowed off the island for a brief period every seven years. Sean says that 'Pithathailbuí' means the yellow haired women. Batty Mac said that he saw the 'Cóiste Bodhar' up around Killoran. When asked if he saw or heard anything about this he says he heard about the banshee. Michael Lacey was coming home from Broadford one day and he met somebody at the dispensary gate. There were two cottages between them and the chapel. Seán talks about the people that lived in the two cottages. Whilst talking to someone at the gate he heard a women crying and the sound was coming towards him. Mrs Hegarty, who lived in one of those cottages, died later the same day. Seán says that his father never had a strong belief in these traditions. He goes on to talk about a particular night when the doctor was travelling from Tulla and his father was out waiting to give him directions. While waiting a man with an axe passed by him. After a while the doctor arrived and he was brought to the sick man. Later in life Seán's father confessed, saying that he knew the man with the axe. It was their neighbour who had been dead for years.
0:31:07 - 40:00 LOCAL TRADITION - Seán tells the story about a Presbyterian boy who drowned in the lake and was later found by the local priest. The father was fond of sailing and one day he went out with his wife, son and daughter. Whilst out in the lake the boat capsized and the man swam for the shore. When he came out onto the road Seán's father-in-law and brother-in-law where on the other side of the road. They all set off to rescue the rest of the man's family. Gerry Cronin had done a 'life saving' course and swam out to the boat to keep the family company. He then decided to swim back to shore with the boy and it was while doing this the child drowned. Once the rest family were taken to safety, the search for the body of the boy began. During the search the local priest blessed a sheaf and he said it would then spin when it was over the body. After a small time floating the sheaf spun three times and they found the body. This all happened approximately 60 years ago. The family were originally from America and were living here because the father was working in Shannon.

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