South Armagh Sayings

George Paterson, folklorist and archivist, collected sayings of the aul people as he travelled the country.  Here is a selection.

‘A crowd of hares used till gather in the wee forth [fort] at night.  They used till just sit there an’ even the ‘grue’ [greyhound] that cud see them well wud luk the other way.  Me gran’father himself went in once when they were there.  He saw the lot of them in the centre of the ring.  But when they saw him they slipped into the sheugh at the forth.  As soon as he left they were back on the rampar [rampart].  He was sorely bothered be them an’ one night he borrowed a gun an’ let them have it.  [shot them with it].  An’ sure as yer here the nixt mornin’ there wus hardly an oul’ woman that wusn’t in bed.’ 

‘A man about here once followed a fairy funeral.  He wus up late at night an’ heard the convoy comin’.  He slipped out an’ followed them an’ they disappeared into Lisleitrim Fort.  He heared the noise of them walking plain but he saw none of them.’

‘They wur goin’ to break up the forth in the days of my forebears but when the horses and plough wur upon it, a slice of bread was thrown right in front of them.  It wus a strange thing to happen an’ they were bothered, but a wise woman told them that if the place wus left alone the Nugents would niver want for bread.  An’ thank God we niver did even in the Famine time.  It wus always a right fairy place.’

P.S. from Editor:  Wudinye think, with a roughage like that in the family, that Peter Nugent cud buy his round, now and then?

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