Paddy Joe Gallagher is the caretaker of Keelogues graveyard in N Sligo. As a community survey team recorded the headstones in Keelogues graveyard Paddy Joe led us around saying who was buried where and when! Throughout the drizzley morning he remembered each funeral and the order of burial and in the afternoon I saw him refer to a blue notebook for some extra detail.
In this video Paddy Joe tells a story told to him by his father. Ostensibly about a McGowan man who moved a Curing Stone (a medieval stone head believed to cure that most awful of afflictions - the toothache) from the graveyard in relatively recent times it strikes me the story could be up to 1000 years old!
"A story of the stone in the pier on the left hand side coming in. If you have toothache, come after 12 o'clock at night, kiss the stone and you get rid of the toothache!
In times gone by, bt deceased Dad, who is nearly 50 years dead, told that there was a man, name of McGowan, a short distance from here, took the stone off the pier & built it ito the gable of a byre...From the day he built it...the wind started to blow and blow! And worse it got every night!
So there was one night in his sleep, he thought somebody said to him 'Take out that stone and bring it back!' And the next morning he took out the stone and brought it back down, built it into the pier of the cemetery, and the wind stopped!'