I min’ one day at school, I had the hiccup. It was so bad, I was annoying the teacher and disturbing the whole class. The teacher called me up - and she says, “Was it you stole Mrs. McMahon’s chickens last night?”
I denied all knowledge of the accusation and was absolutely mortified in front of the whole class. I was then told to stand to the one side. After a while she says, “Where’s your hiccup now?”
It had stopped. The fright had cured it!
Mrs. Quinn had the cure for constitutional lumps. These would swell up at your ear or under your arm. You had to bring about one pound of unsalted butter and whatever she did, she’d give it back to you to rub on the affected area.
Mrs. Montague, maiden name, Maggie Daly, who lived in the town, had the cure for heart fever. She got a piece of black tape, 3’ long by 2” wide and taking a length of white thread, she placed it over one side of the tape lengthwise, and under the other side. She then rolled up the tape and thread together. She made the sign of the cross and beginning at the heart she passed the tape across the chest and round the back. When she reached the heart she unrolled the tape and the thread was always on one side of the tape. You could see the thread moving about. The movement told her how bad your fever was.
The first relief our Packie got was Extract of Liver from McAdams and Bates, Omagh, at 17/6 a naggin, plus Carrigeen moss which came from Killybegs. He was troubled with a bad stomach.
Any sprain or torn muscle was poulticed with a cow ‘clap.’
Maggie Daly o’ the town had the cure o’ the heart. She put oatmeal in a tumbler and filled it to the brim. She covered it. Then she went round the patient three times, in the name of The Father and The Son and The Holy Spirit. She’d uncover it and she could show you which part of your heart was weak. The meal would have hollows. I remember several people going to her. I used to love to take the old people to her. She said prayers too.
Put a handful of salt in a man’s sock and wrap it round your neck for a sore throat.
Have you ever had a stiff neck? Tie a straw on the crook, that’s if you have a crook. Hit’ll cure the stiffness.
The Mumps – A pair of donkey’s winkers were put on the patient and [then] was led across a south flowing stream. Or, wearing a donkey’s winkers, the patient was passed under and over the donkey in a circular movement three times, in the name of The Father and of The Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Gargle a sore throat with hot salted water.
Any couple getting married with the same surname has the cure of the whooping cough. Usually the patient is given a biscuit or a glass of milk to take in three different portions.
Put salt in snow and rub that on your chilblains.
About three tiny drops of paraffin oil in a teaspoon of sugar stopped that cough, especially the ‘barking’ cough.
Tormenting Root – also when boiled, the liquid will cure your tormentin’ cough.
A plant known as Golden Rod is a cure for bad kidneys. Boil a portion of it in water and drink the liquid. It’s growing at B. McMaugh’s.
One man in Eskra was known as the Piper because he could charm rats. He could take them from one house to the next. They would follow him up the road like the Pied piper. The night he died the rats took their revenge out on him.
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