John McCullagh March 23, 2004
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It is perhaps the folk tales of ill luck that befell those who interfered with hill forts that helped preserve these for thousands of years.


‘The Breens’ set spuds once in ‘their’ forth.  That wus the year they broke it all up.  It wus also the year that all their cattle foundered.  Shure it gave them such a fright they niver did a han’s turn till it since.  Gentle places and gentle bushes are entitled till stay, an’ it’s alone they should be left.

A drum used to bate on the forth – a fairy drum – not one of the rattlers ye hear now with no music in its skin whatever – but a real drum that cud be danced till, it wus so sweet.  Many a time it wus heared, but not for years now.  The wee people had a fiddle too an’ the best of a band, an’ on certain nights it cud be heared in all directions.

But indeed the Breens were strong, foolish men, an’ it’s gospel truth their horses and cattle died.  It wus better it wud have been if they had left it alone, I’m tellin’ ye.  But then, shure, it’s always aisy to be wise when the mischief is done. 

Me father wud be near till a hundred if he was alive.  An’ many a time I heared him say, ‘Gentry places are not places I’d care to go diggin’ in’, when cracking of the forth.

Ay, deed, ay!’

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