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Stories of a Giant

Abstract: Story collected by May Corcoran, a student at Boston school (Bostoncommon, Co. Kildare) (no informant identified).

Original reference: 0777/4/51

Loading...School Boston [Vol. 0777, Chapter 0004]

County The Schools' Manuscript Collection : County Kildare Schools

transcribed at


Stories of a Giant [duchas:4762784]

There was a great giant who lived on the hill of Allen.  His name was Finn Mac Cumhal.  There are many stories told of him.  It is said that he threw a rock from Allen hill to the boreen that runs by our school, and he left that mark of his thumb on it.  The stone is still to be seen.  He also threw a stone from Allen hill to the canail bank and it is

Stories of a Giant [duchas:4762785]

still there.  Another time he leaped from the hill of Allen to a field near the village of Allen.  A thorn that was in his foot fell out.  A well sprang up and a bush grew from the thorn.  That place is now called "The Leap."
Once upon a time a giant from Scotland came over to Ireland to fight Finn Mac Cumal.  When Finn saw him coming he ran home to his wife.  She dressed him as a child and put him in a cradle.  When the giant came to Finns door his wife said that Finn was not there that he was gone to count cattle down in a field in Pluckerstown.  She had a cake with harrow pins in it baking and she invited the Scottish giant in for tea until Finn would come home.  When he tried to eat the cake he broke all his teeth.  All this time Finn acting as a child was crying.  The giant remarked how big the child was and thought within himself that the father must be a very big giant.  He began to be afraid and said to Finn's wife that

Stories of a Giant [duchas:4762786]

he would not wait for Finn that day but would come again.  He set off down the hill on his way back to Scotland.  Finns dog saw him going, and he ran after him.  He kept on snapping at the giants trousers until the legs of them were in ribbons.  This is said to be the origin of the kilt in Scotland.
There is another story told about Finn.  When he was down in the North of Ireland he saw this Scottish giant in Scotland.  He took a clod or lump of clay in his hand and threw it over the sea at the giant.  It fell in the sea and it is now known the Isle of Man, and the hole out of which Finn lifted the side or clod is Ireland's biggest lake Loc nEacac.

Origin information
Bostoncommon, Co. Kildare
Date created:
Type of Resource
Physical description
p. 177-179
Volume 0777
Collected as part of the Schools' Folklore scheme, 1937-1938, under the supervision of teacher Bean Uí Dhocharthaigh.
legendary creatures   linked data (afset)
School location
BostoncommonCoimín BostonBostoncommonCloncurryCloncurryOffaly EastKildare
University College Dublin. National Folklore Collection UCD .

Original reference: 0777/4/51

Suggested credit
"Stories of a Giant"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 Bean Uí Dhocharthaigh.
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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