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24/10/2021

Kilkenny writer invites readers to take a tour of Ballyfoyle 200 years ago

Kilkenny writer invites readers to take a tour of Ballyfoyle 200 years ago

Stories and Cures from the Shadow of the Glens

Stories told around the fireplace and passed down through the generations are recounted and told in the latest publication by Kilkenny writer, Michael Brennan.
Stories and Cures from the Shadow of the Glens goes back 200 years and tells of the local folklore that was an integral part of the community and a way of life for many.
Michael Brennan explains that he has always had an interest in local history and of the heritage that surrounds him and has been involved in many projects over the years.
When Covid hit he decided to put pen to paper and wrote Ballyfoyle - its history and landscape.
In his latest work the stories that he shares were inspired from research that the writer did on the findings of The Folklore Commission as well as word of mouth.
This book introduces an imaginative peasantry that had a belief in fairy folk and the cures of a fairy doctor.
“At the time of the narrative of this book we look at a more settled area around Ballyfoyle and gather the stories from the storytellers and the cures that were available to the local peasantry. The old skills of healing, of fulfilling wishes, of prophesying, were carried on by quiet men and women. Their skills were based on a long life devoted to observing nature and wildlife.
“Old beliefs do no disappear and life is very close to the landscape. People had a ready hand to relieve the poor and a stranger was never turned away from the fireside without experiencing its hospitality.
“House owners, workmen and visitors all enjoyed the full lustre of the merry blaze, the stories and music after a day’s work was completed.
“Today most of us live in comfortable, secure homes with shopping centres and medical facilities close by, but old ways and beliefs lie close under the surface and are not always obvious at first glance and where nature still holds the power,” added the writer. “Back then friendships were cemented around the open fires and the good will that was obtained was not lukewarm or evanescent but cordial and durable
The book is available from Khans Bookshop on James Street and from The Book Centre on High Street and is priced at €10.

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