Dúchas.ie – The Schools’ Collection

Dúchas.ie is a project to digitize the National Folklore Collection of Ireland, one of the largest folklore collections in the world. It is a collection of folklore compiled by schoolchildren in Ireland in the 1930s.

Tom Moore (RIP April 2019) was a volunteer with Dúchas and has transcribed the original documents from The Schools’ Collection for Monaleen School. It which was collected by Mrs. M. O’Farrell, a teacher in the school in the period January 1938 – January 1939.

Mrs O’Farrell gives a preface to the collection – all of which is in her own handwriting:

“With reference to your instruction on the matter of the collection (of) folklore, I desire to report that I found it extremely difficult to any acquire any information that would be of great interest. A too close proximity to the city of Limerick may account for this. Even the old people who are very few have no record of any old stories. However the children have done their best and I hope that their efforts have not been entirely fruitless. ”

In fact, there is a wealth of information in there about Monaleen from Fairy Forts, Holy wells, Local Place Names, Old Customs, Ruins, Graveyards, Funny Stories etc.

Here is the link to the website – it has the original document on each page, and a transcription by Tom Moore beside each image.


If anyone prefers to just view Tom’s transcription, here it is:

Many thanks to both Dúchas.ie and the National Folklore Collection, UCD for making this information available to us all.

Local History Resources

Dolly Stewart, a local historian wrote “History of Monaleen Castletroy District” about sixty years ago. This book traces the history of our parish from 968 onwards. A copy is available in the Limerick County Library.

Another local historian Thomas Toomey was active in producing the Kilmurry Review, an annual periodical which covers historical events and how they related to our parish. These publications also are available at the Limerick County Library.

In this website we include material directly relevant to the history of our parish. So far there are five elements:

  • Monaleen is part of an Area group of eight neighbouring parishes. The Pastoral Council presented an overview of Monaleen in November 2010 to representatives of these parishes. The slides from the presentation give a summary of the history, geography and community structure of our parish. See Monaleen Parish Overview (PDF).
  • At this meeting one of our parishioners gave an account of how farming in Monaleen has changed over the past fifty years. Here is Liam Ryan’s account. Parishioners will find this up to date account most interesting and informative.
  • In 2000 The Limerick Diocesan Heritage Project prepared histories of all parishes in the diocese. Their Website contains parish details under the following headings :
  • A document containing some old folklore relating our parish can be found here. It is an extract from ‘The History of Monaleen/Castletroy District’, written by Dolly Stewart c. 1955.
  • The Dúchas Schools’Collection: (see above more more details)

If there are any other parishioners with interesting accounts of the history of Monaleen, we would be very grateful if you would submit them to one of the priests or members of the Parish Council for publication here.

Monaleen Church

Inscription engraved over the main door of Monaleen Church:

“D. O. M.
sub invocatione
B Marie Magdalenae
AD 1873”

which is translated as:
To God, most good, most great
Under the invocation of
Saint Mary Magdalene

(Click on the picture for a larger image.)

Monaleen Bell

The inscription cast onto the outer rim of the bell is:

“The gift of Miss Christina Kelly, AD1880 J Murphy founder Dublin”

(Click on the picture for a larger image.)