Mizen

Rescued Folklore, Histories and Songs from Ireland's South West

Mike Baldwin

Bright Light, London, 2019

In 1937, the Irish Folklore Commission issued guidance to National Schools countrywide for the collection of stories, folklore, songs, and histories; the pupils of Ireland’s schools were charged with the collection, curation, and transcription of the nation’s oral history. The author of this guidance, distributed by the Department of Education, put it thus. ‘The task is an urgent one, for in our time most of this important national oral heritage will have passed away forever.’ ‘Passed away’ was an apt turn of phrase. Many of these stories had lived and evolved for centuries, passed by word of mouth from generation to generation. Their continuing decline risked the loss of an invaluable and irreplaceable treasure, a quintessentially Irish strand of local and national identity. Here, the folklore of Crookhaven, Lissagriffin, Goleen, Toormore, Schull, and Ballydehob, are presented in print for the first time.