The Mourne Observer really is a waste of rainforest.
80 plus pages of very little. The website is more interesting with articles from long lost editions and stories more riveting than you would expect to find now. Apparently the fairies used to feature strongly in the paper-and not so long ago either. I am sure there are stil mountainy men who believe in the Wee Folk but probably keep quiet about it-they would enjoy the three tales below which are as credible as most stuff found in the gossip columns of the tabloids
Fairies Kept Man on Tullyree Hill All Night
Mr McCarthy first related the story of a man named Paddy Rodgers of Dromena, whose one and only encounter with the fairies was anything but a pleasant one. Mr Rodgers, it appears, was on Tullyree Hill when night fell and a lot of the wee folk gathered round him and led him around and around the hill about ten times. They danced round him and kept laughing at his plight, as he was unable to find his way off the hill. Then in the early hours a cock crew, the fairies scattered and Mr Rodgers was able to fins his way home.
"I have often heard it said," added Mr McCarthy, "that if you take off your coat and turn it inside out, the fairies will leave you, but Paddy mustn’t have known about that." A married man, with a family, Mr Rodgers died about 24 years ago. (i.e. 1935)
Never Cut Fairy Thorns!
We’ve all heard the old saying
"Never cut a fairy thorn," and Mr McCarthy gave me two instances which go to prove that this advice should never be treated as a joke.
There was the unfortunate case of Mick McCabe, of Tullyree, who went to uproot a fairy bush. Out jumped a hare, which ran round to the side of the hill. Mick turned his head sideways to look after it- and his head remained in that position until he died, about 40 years ago. (i.e. 1940)
Then Mr McCarthy told the story of Micky McCartan, who lived on a neighbouring farm. Of the devil-me-care type, Micky insisted on cutting away a fairy thorn despite pleadings by his mother not to touch it. Even as he started to saw the bush his mother kept pulling him back by the coat-tail. On he went, but suddenly blood appeared on the saw blade and Micky, despite his insistent boldness was petrified. He stopped sawing- and just in time, before doing irreparable damage to the thorn and consequently no ill befell him.
, who lived on the Dublin Road, outside Castlewellan, was another who suffered for his foolishness in cutting down fairy bushes, despite warnings by neighbours. That night and also the next day, none of the cows in the byre was able to get up. He was advised to repair the bushes as best he could and with scutching tow he tied the branches back on the bushes after which all his cows returned to normal.
"I remember seeing the bushes being tied up myself, " said Mr McCarthy. " That was about 60 years ago." ( i.e. 1920)
I am off to find a rainbow-you never know your luck and a crock of gold is not taxable.