Wednesday, March 30, 2011



was a farmer from Galway/Clare who was a lease holder and owed the landlord 3 years back rent.

When the landlord advised Willaim he had one week to pay up or be out on the side of the road ,Liam advised him he was going to Galway next day with a load of wheat and when the wheat was sold he would pay up.

On the way he met a gentleman who asked about the wheat.
Liam said there was a ton and the gentelman offered to pay top price for it.

He directed Rooney to the boreen on his left to the big house and he would be there to give William his money.

When Liam came to the place a small lad came and wished him 100 thousand welcomes and took a sack of the grain. A second little boy came, welcomed Liam and took a sack on his back.

Soon all the wheat in his cart was gone.

Liam went to the Big House with the master to eat, but after a mouth full of food he fell asleep and fell under the table.

The enchanter of the house then cloned a likeness of William and sent this imposter home to Liams wife and the man went and laid on Liams bed and died.

The wife came and keened Liam and washed his body with hot water and laid out the dead likeness on a board.
The neighbors came and keened the body and pity the pooor young wife.
But she was not too grief sticken as she was young and William was old.
So a day later Laim was buried and there was no remembrance of him.

The now widowed wife asked her servant boy to marry her but he wisely required she wait a week.
The real Liam ,after 7 days and 7 nights sleep was awakend[ D'uis] by a little boy and he gave Laim his money and told him his horse and cart ahd been sent home.

William Rooney can home himself late at nigth and no one saw him come.

on that moring Laims wife and the servant boy went to the priest to ask him to marry them.

The priest asked for the marrage money.
The wife said no money but she had a pig he could have.
The Priest married them and said he would send for the pig.

When Liam came to his door he struck it to be opened and the wife and servant boy said,

'Whose there?'

'It is I', say Laim. 'Open the door for me.'

The wife refused to open and said it was a great shame for him to return after being 7 days in the grave.

Laim sadi she was mad and she retorted that eveyone in the parish knew he was dead and decently buried.

She told him to go back to his grave and she would have a Mass said for his soul.

So Liam went to the stable where were the horse and the pig and fell asleep on the straw.
The priest next morning sent a little lad to Laim Rooneys house to bring the pig.

The boy went to the house and knocked on the door with a stick.

'Whose there?'

The boy said the priest had sent him to get the pig.
The wife sent him to the stable and when he began driving out the pig Liam awoke and said.
'Where are you going with my pig?'

The boy recongnised him and fled in teror to the priest.
'What on you?', asked the priest and the boy told him Liam Rooney was in the stable.

'You lie!' said the priest and the priest and the boy went together to the stalbe to turn out the pig.

'Where are you going with my pig Father Patrick?', says Liam, still laying in the straw and away in teror went the priest.

Liam went to the priests house knocked but the priest would not let him in.
'Go back to your grave William Rooney', he says.

Liam said he was not dead and never had been.

'I saw you dead', says the priest from his window.

'And put you in the grave and made a service over you.'
The priests ordered Liam out of his sight and said he would have a Mass for him tommorrow.

Liam went home but his wife would not let him in.
So he said he may as well go pay the rent.

The landlord shut the door and everone on the road ran from him and when Liam knocked the lordship came to the window and asked,
'What are you wanting?'

'Ive come to pay the rent', says Liim.
Go back to your grave and I'll forgive your rent,'said the Lord.

Liam said he wanted a receipt in writing that he was paid up clean till next May.
The Lordship gave him his paper and he came home to his own door but his wife would not let him in.

Liam said he was no deciver as she thought but had paid his Master 3 years rent and would have possession of his own house or know why.

He went to his barn and got a big iron bar and broke in the door.
The wife and her newly married servant boy were in great fear that the Resurection and end of the world werr coming.

'Why did you think I was dead?' he asked.
'Everybody in the parish saw you dead.' she replied.
'Your body for the Devil', crys Liam.
'Get me something to eat.'

He ate and drank and she said 'Its a miracle.'

Next day Liam and a band of men went to the churchyard and dug open the grave and lifted up the coffin and a big black dog jumped out of it with Liam and the men after it.

When the dog arrived at the house by the boreen, the ground opened the house desended and was never again seen, but the big hole is still there this day.

They then went to tell everything to the parish priest who disolved the marriage beteen Laims wife and the servant boy.

william Rooney lived for years after and left great wealth and he was and still is remembered in Clare/Galway.

Presented by
Judi Donnelly
copyyright 29 March 2011

sourse: Beside the Fire, Douglas Hyde, Irish Academic Press, 1978

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