Cailleach - Biddy Early

Abstract: Story collected by Annie Reidy, a student at Tulach Cruinn, Inis school (Tullycreen Upper, Co. Clare) from informant Mrs Mary Reidy.

Original reference: 0601/1/33

Loading...School Tulach Cruinn, Inis [Vol. 0601, Chapter 0001]

County The Schools' Manuscript Collection : County Clare Schools

Reidy, Annie

transcribed at


Cailleach - Biddy Early [duchas:4869826]

Cailleach- Biddy Early
Once upon a time there lived in East Clare a woman by the name of Biddy Early. She lived in a very lonely place, miles from the road, by the side of a lofty mountain and so this made it almost impossible for anybody to find her out.
She was looked upon as a witch, but some people say that it was only she stole a chalice from the church, and through it she could foretell. People thronged to her from all parts of the country to try and gain some knowledge which she was sure to tell them. Most of the people went to her for curses. On one occasion a man by the name of Dan bluinn R.I.P went to her for a curse , as all his cattle were dying. After a long search he found her out and explained his case to her. She gave him a bottle with a prescription. She told him if it was brought home safely and one dose of it given to the calves, that no more of them would get sick or die. But if the bottle got broken on his way home, the cure was a failure. At all events, he chanced

Cailleach - Biddy Early [duchas:4869827]

to bring it home safely and the cure was a success. When people went to her, she could tell them their friends and enemies , people that even did anything to them either by cheating or theft. She could tell them what was instore for them in their future life. The most peculiar thing she refered to was; if by any chance they had a broken glass in their windows, to go at once and put it in, as it was only making room for the"Good People" to pass through. The priests heard of her doings and threatened death to anybody who knew where she lived and directed any stranger to her. She lived to be a  very old withered woman and the best of my belief is that she died at the age of 90 years.
Told by:- Mrs Mary Reidy
                Brisla East.
                Cooraclare P.U.
                (48 yrs)
Written by:- Annie Reidy
                     Tullycrine N.S.

Origin information
Tullycreen Upper, Co. Clare
Date created:
Type of Resource
Physical description
p. 067-068
Volume 0601
Collected as part of the Schools' Folklore scheme, 1937-1938, under the supervision of teacher Micheál Ó Maranáin.
English  Irish  
   linked data (naf)
Biddy early--Bidí Ní Mhochóirí
School location
Tullycreen UpperTulaigh Chrainn UachtarachTullycreen UpperKilmurryClonderalawClare
University College Dublin. National Folklore Collection UCD .

Original reference: 0601/1/33

Suggested credit
"Cailleach - Biddy Early"in "The Schools' Manuscript Collection," held by University College Dublin, National Folklore Collection UCD. © University College Dublin. Digital content by: Glenbeigh Records Management, published by UCD Library, University College Dublin <>
Collected as part of the Schools' Folklore scheme, 1937-1938, under the supervision of teacher Micheál Ó Maranáin.
Supported by funding from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Ireland), University College Dublin, and the National Folklore Foundation (Fondúireacht Bhéaloideas Éireann), 2014-2016.
Record source
Metadata creation date: 2014/2016 — Metadata created by Fiontar, Dublin City University, in collaboration with the National Folklore Collection UCD and UCD Library. Original Fiontar metadata converted into MODS by UCD Library.

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