Newspaper articles


The Tipperary Constitution
Contributed by Mary Heaphy
1837


1837

 July 5th 1837

The unfortunate and deluded peasantry of the neighbourhood of Tipperary have
been excited not a little within the last week by the humbugging story, got
up evidently for a similar purpose to the "Wild Fire" or the "Blessed Turf"
of the last year, and which has the effect of collecting thousands together
almost at a moments warning, who can be then be led on to any act of
desperation their leaders may direct. A man named Keating, from near
Newcastle, was taken ill, died, and was buried some short time ago. But a
few nights since he appeared to his Father and brother and told them he had
only been taken by the fairies, and that if they were resolute, and would
bring plenty of whisky, and some of their neighbours, and each have a black
hafted knife, he would be passing the crossroad at Glendalough, at 12 O'Clock
precisely, on St. John's Eve: that they would first see a little man on a
fine gray horse, whom they were to let to pass, as well as any others, until
they perceived him: he would be mounted on a black horse, they were to get
between him and the rest, cut off the right ear of the horse, then he would
be at once out of the fairies power, and be let home again to them. Numbers
in this town and neighbourhood either believed it or pretended to believe
it, and went off to the meeting, where, we are informed, upwards of 1200
people assembled. As may be supposed, no little man or gray horse appeared,
and all returned again, but what passed there, and why they were called thus
together, is as of yet a secret.

To carry in the humbug, this ghost or fairy appeared on Sunday night again
to his father, and told him all was lost by a fellow going in their company,
who had murdered three men (Whom he named), but that he would be passing
Ratcliffe's mill, near the Spa, in a few nights again, when they would have
another opportunity.
Tipperary Constitution.