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The Bog Of Ballyyyahoo

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dark clouds over a bog - to illustrate a story from Ireland's Magical town of BallyyahooYou might think bogs are pretty boring.

Maybe you think they are nothing more than wet fields with muck and grass? Well, you’d be wrong.

The word bog comes from the Irish word Bogach, which means soft.

If you get the chance to walk around in a bog you’ll see why.

Bogs are filled with peat and peat is made up of 95% water and 5% rotting plants, pollen and dust.

brown frog illustrating a children's story about the creatures that live in Ireland's Bog of BallyyahooBut that’s not all.

The bogs in Ireland are thousands of years old and filled with all sorts of life.

There are lots of heathers and mosses, reeds and flowers.

And there are also many living creatures like dragonflies, frogs, newts, otters, hares, and a wide variety of birds.

But, alongside the richness of life in Ireland’s bogs there is also death.

More than one dead body has been been found by turf-cutters who were out digging turf to take home to keep their fires glowing and their homes warm.

BOG-BODIES

One of these bog-bodies was found in County Offay, in a bog below the Croghan Hill.

The body was so very well preserved that you could see his fingernails, yet the body was of a man who died between 362BC and 175BC.

There has never been a bog-body found in the Ballyyahoo bog, but that hasn’t stopped the rumours.

WHAT LIES BENEATH?

The rumour has been going around for centuries and it is said that another kind of body may lie below the turf of the Ballyyahoo bog.

It is also said that there is something far more scary than bog-bodies beneath the soft turf and that something might just be the Banshee.

THE BANSHEE

The Banshee is much feared in country towns and villages in rural Ireland and with good reason.

The Banshee is a ghost of a woman who appears when someone is about to die.

Many people in Ballyyahoo believe that it is the Banshee herself who causes the death.

Some of the older Ballyyahooians would never go near the bog at night for fear that the Banshee would come for them.

They believe that if you ever say the word ‘Banshee’ out loud and she happens to hear you speak, you are doomed.

The story goes that the Banshee will come for you and take you with her to the depths of the bog.

What she does to you below the bog is never spoken of.

But one thing is sure, it is a place from where you will never, ever return.

Paddy Plant is one of the oldest residents of Ballyyahoo. He loves to tell old stories and one of those old stories is the one about what happened when a thief from Ballyuseless met the Banshee of Ballyyahoo bog.

To read what happened when Thief from Ballyuseless met the Banshee click here. 

For more stories from Ballyyahoo just click here.

 

 

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