HOW DONAGHADEE GOT ITS NAME

From Legendary Fictions of the Irish Celts by Patrick Kennedy

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The legend we are about to relate does not properly fall into the present category; but if we waited for a suitable niche, we should have probably to bring in St. Brendain again very unceremoniously, and here we have him without doing violence to good manners or classification. Our story-tellers sometimes represent the fairies,--either the original stock, or the human beings who have assumed their nature,--as showing good-will to mortals in distress. We would quote some instances of O'Donoghue's beneficence; but are they not sufficiently trumpeted in Killarney Guide-books? Such being the case, it would not be just or natural that our national saints should neglect their poor countrymen. But as our business in this section is not with legends of saints, but of fairies, we would not cite the following piece of supernatural interference were it not for its rather doubtful character:--

HOW DONAGHADEE GOT ITS NAME

In the fine old kingdom of Kerry lived Donogha and Vauria, man and wife. Had they been a happy pair, their names and their little disagreements would not have reached our times. Donogha was lazy, Vauria was fiery in temper; and so food and fuel were frequently scarce, and words of anger and reproach frequent. On a fine summer day the master of the house was sitting by his hearth devoid of care, and doing no heavier work than smoking his pipe. Vauria coming in, rated him to such an extent for his idleness, neither sticks nor turf being under the roof to boil the supper, that he went forth into the wood to gather a bresna. Having taken twice the time it would have cost another to collect his bundle, he tied it up by a great effort, and then sat down upon it to lament at his ease his hard fate, cursed with poverty and a scolding wife. Our authority distinctly says that St. Brendain appeared to him then and there, and after speaking some words of kindness and encouragement, told him he would grant him two wishes, and advised him to think them over seriously before he would give them utterance. In our opinion the apparition was that of one of the fairy chiefs of the country. The lazy man returned thanks, and getting the fagot on his back trudged homewards. But the weight, multiplied by his native laziness, was nearly intolerable, and forgetting the late occurrence, he groaned out, "Oh, that this devil of a bresna was carrying me instead of me the bresna!" On the moment he found himself astride of the bundle, which was using the ends of its boughs as so many legs, and in a very short space of time he was thundering from the " bawn-gap," to the door. "Oh, Donogha, honey," says Vauria, "what's the meaning of this?" The fright inspired her with some politeness and good nature. He told her his good luck, and how they had still one wish left. " An', you anointed onshuch," said she, "is that the way you threw away your good fortune? I wish the bresna was in your stomach! " "It is well for me," said the easy man, "that it wasn't to you the saint appeared." Well, she went on aggravating him till he fairly lost patience; and cried out, "Oh, you serpent o' the world, I wish we were the length of Ireland separated from each other!" The next moment she and her cabin were at Teagh na Vauria (Mary's House), at the extreme end of Kerry, and he in the place called ever since Donaghadee (qu. Teagh an Donogha). They never saw one another more.

End of this Story

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