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Folklore in the Ordnance Survey Memoirs

Saints and parishes


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A great many of the parishes have strong ties with and lay claim to famous saints, St. Patrick and St. Columbkille in particular. It comes as no surprise then that the departure of these revered men should cause turmoil and distress among the people. Indeed, on the occasion of St. Columbkille’s departure from Clondermot parish strange things came to pass. . . ‘In this place a cock has been never known to crow’ since the departure of the saint. It is said that Columbkille’s grief was great a leaving a place that ‘had been to him a paradise’. His grief was equalled only by that manifested by the people on the announcement of (his) departure. They learned that he would leave them at cock-crow in the morning, and immediately began to tie up all the beaks of the chanticleers in the neighbourhood. However, one woman . . . either through neglect or in contempt of the experiment had not adopted the precaution, in so much that her cock crew at the usual hour. Upon this the saint pronounced the malediction: ‘As long as time shall be time, a cock shall not crow in this place.’ And according to popular legend it has ever been so. For as the memoir tells us, this strange phenomenon was in later years put to the test; even when parishioners brought several cockerels to this place they would not crow.

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