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St Ita | Tadhg "Gaelach" O'Suilleabhain

St Ita

According to legend, St Ita once cursed Tournafulla. Her community had a dairy farm at Seconglass near Mountcollins. One evening, while Ita was on her way to the farm, the people of Tournafulla set their dogs on her donkeys. The donkeys ran away and when St Ita caught up with them, one of the donkeys was lame. She went on to the river Iskule, which is now known as the Skule. St Ita ascertained the donkey's lameness to be attributable to a thorn in its hoof. She removed the thorn and turned the point downwards. She planted it near her convent and it is supposed to have grown into a thorn bush on which all the thorns grow down.

It is alleged that her footprint, as well as that of the donkey, was left on some of the rocks located at the river. The donkeys' tracks are on the rocks close to where the Iskule and Allaughan rivers meet in Upper Tournafulla. It is said that if one is sick, placing ones feet in the imprints in the rocks will heal the particular ailment.

Tadhg "Gaelach" O'Suilleabhain

Commemorative Plaque to Tadhg 'Gaelach' O'Suilleabhain
© Commemorative Plaque to Tadhg 'Gaelach' O'Suilleabhain

The poet Tadhg "Gaelach" O'Suilleabhain was born in Tournafulla in 1715. Most of his well-known poems were of a religious nature and he wrote these poems while he was living in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford. Tadhg also lived in East Cork for a while. From about 1760 on, his life changed and he became a pilgrim and looked for penance for his sins. It was at this time that Tadhg began to write his religious poems. He died in Waterford Cathedral in 1795 and is buried in Ballylaneen cemetery. After his death, the first edition of his poetry was published in Limerick.

St Ita | Tadhg "Gaelach" O'Suilleabhain

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