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St Patrick's Miracle in Kilgeever

Abstract: Story collected by Thomas J. Morahan, a student at Louisburgh school (Louisburgh, Co. Mayo) from informant John Ball.

Original reference: 0137/1/8

Loading...School Louisburgh [Vol. 0137, Chapter 0001]

County The Schools' Manuscript Collection : County Mayo Schools

Morahan, Thomas J.

transcribed at


St Patrick's Miracle in Kilgeever [duchas:4368075]

After his prayer and fast on Croagh Patrick St. Patrick visited Kilgeever village. Towards nightfall he sought shelter for the night in a house in the village. The tenant welcomed him and offered him the hospitality of his house.
The Saint noticed that the fire was being "raked" before darkness set in, and the doors and apertures for windows were being covered or shuttered, and he asked for the reasons. He was told that under threat of dire ruin and death fires were extinguished at that hour every evening and that no person dare venture to gaze on the street "while the spirits caroused"
Thereupon, Patrick, despite the pleadings of the household, decided to stay outside and watch for developments. He had not long to wait. A fire appeared at the far end of the village - figures next appeared, and wild scenes

St Patrick's Miracle in Kilgeever [duchas:4368076]

accompanied by unearthly shrieks and yells converted the peaceful village into pandemonium.
St. Patrick went straight for the fire; as he drew nigh the figures suddenly disappeared and the flames of the fire became more or less subdued. Advancing towards the fire he found that it resembled the fire of a blacksmith's forge it being placed on an elevated hearthstone.
On the hearthstone he saw a "chicken", apparently asleep; he called on the "chicken" to arise with no success. He then said:-
"If you are asleep, "chicken", awake;
And if you are not asleep, may you never wake".
The "chicken", thereupon, stretched its limbs and expired and St. Patrick cast the body into the fire. The stench that arose therefrom almost suffocated people for miles about the place.
Later the place was known as Gleann na Boladh.

Origin information
Louisburgh, Co. Mayo
Date created:
Type of Resource
Physical description
p. 026-027
Volume 0137
Collected as part of the Schools' Folklore scheme, 1937-1938, under the supervision of teacher Thos. J. Morahan.
School location
University College Dublin. National Folklore Collection UCD .

Original reference: 0137/1/8

Suggested credit
"St Patrick's Miracle in Kilgeever"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 Thos. J. Morahan.
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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Copyright of the original resource: University College Dublin

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