Wexford Coastal Lore

We can gain a new perspective from stories containing humour, history and anecdote in the folklore of coastal communities. This series of stories follows the coastline of County Wexford, its weather, its tragedies and its biodiversity. It uses a variety of media to explore the string of port communities surrounding Rosslare and its Irish Sea Crossing.

Hook Peninsula

With Waterford Harbour to the west, Slade Bay to the east, and the Irish Sea to the south, Hook Peninsula is the southern most point of County Wexford. Like a sentry guarding passage, Hook Lighthouse stands 100 feet high, with walls of remarkable…

Folklore of the Alfred D. Snow Wreck

The coastal folklore of County Wexford is punctuated with shipwrecks, stories of assistance rendered and loss of life despite the best efforts of rescuers. The wreck of the Alfred D. Snow stands out across the lore of a wide variety of communities…

Sun Worshipping at Carnsore Point

Catching the first glimpse of the green fields of Ireland on the skyline is one of the highlights of a sea crossing bound for the port at Rosslare Harbour. While many different vistas present themselves to the traveller depending on the angle of…

Lore from the Wexford Coast

The Irish Sea coastline of County Wexford is encrusted with the folklore, knowledges, practices and cultural connections of its people. When the children of the Schools' Collection interviewed elderly relatives and members of the community, they…

Tuskar Rock Folklore

The Tuskar Rock Lighthouse stands on a rocky islet 11.3km or 7 miles off the south east corner of the island of Ireland. The lighthouse was constructed to warn ships of what has long been a graveyard of sailors, part of a band of treacherous waters…

Strange Stories in Rosslare

The folklore gathered at the Irish Schools’ Collection contains many tall tales, strange happenings and stories of the supernatural spanning the length and breadth of Ireland. The example below, reported by Lill Dempsey of Ballyboher, County Wexford,…

The Incident of the Whale | Chwedl y Morfil

One day a sailor fell overboard. It happened that there was a whale nearby. The sailor fell into the whale's mouth. When the whale swallowed the sailor he found a case of oranges inside. He took out his knife and he cut a hole in the whale's side.…

Magpies on an Easterly Wind

In the school book for Wexford town, gathered by teacher Victoria M. Sherwood, we find this transcribed clipping from the Wexford Free Press paper, describing the origins of the magpie in Ireland: "It is said that the first magpies that came to…

Folklore and Music Traditions of Wexford Harbour

Sailing ships needed large crews and a seafarer tradition became an important source of employment in Wexford in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The fishing industry thrived, and with it the prosperity of this coastal community. By 1788…

The Ballad of the Tinnaberna Fishermen

County Wexford is no stranger to the musical tradition of ballads and the county possesses a rich and varied repertoire of verse. Given the long stretch of coastline that runs along Wexford county and the tradition of fishing, especially for herring,…