The peasantry are very industrious. The houses of the farmers are built in some parts of stone, in others of clay; slating is becoming more prevalent than thatch for roofing. The want of native timber has also been much felt in the construction of the houses of the small farmers and cottiers. The cabins are generally built at the joint cost of landlord and tenant, in which case the latter has an abatement of rent: when the whole is executed at the tenant's cost, a year's rent is usually allowed him. The use of turf for fuel is universal, except in the immediate neighbourhood of the collieries.

The food consists of potatoes and oatmeal, and in seasons of scarcity, barley-meal; milk is used in summer and autumn; in winter, herrings. Sometimes a pig is killed at Christmas, or several labourers join in the purchase of a cow. The Donagh, which is kept at Brookborough, near Five-mile-town, is a box or casket about the size of a thick quarto volume, containing a representation of Christ and the Apostles in high relief on brass coated with silver, under which are some relics; it is used as a test of veracity in taking evidence among the people.

A belief in fairies, called here the Wee People, is universal among the poorer peasantry; as is the custom of driving their cattle round fires lighted on Midsummer eve. A kind of hurling, here called "common," is a favourite amusement of the young men: formerly they devoted eleven days at Christmas to this exercise, now they give only one; a proof of the increase of habits of industry.

County Tyrone | Tyrone Towns and Baronies | Tyrone Topography | Tyrone Climate | Tyrone Agriculture | Tyrone Geology | Tyrone Manufacturing | Tyrone Rivers | Tyrone Antiquities | Tyrone Society | Tyrone Springs

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