A mile and a half east of Easkey, in west County Sligo, you will see, in a field on the side of the road, the Split Rock of Easkey, known in mythological circles as Fionn's Stone. A huge boulder which has been split into two halves.
Quite close to this school on the top of a hill there is a fort which is situated in the townland of Lisbanagher.
Formerly the fort was surrounded by a wall which is now crumbled to heaps of stones, and on this there are trees growing.
It is said that chiefs lived there long ago. In the middle of the fort the chiefs used have castles, but there is no trace of these castles now.
Some chiefs had a good deal of money and used have three walls around their castles and smaller chiefs used have two walls and smaller still used have one wall for protection from their enemies.
The people are in awe of these forts because they say they are inhabited by fairies.
I heard the following story told about the fort.
One morning Mrs Morrison who lives near the fort, got up early. She went to the door and looked out and was surprised to see a great many tiny little men with little creels on their backs coming down to the bog for turf. She went into the house again and said that she got up too early.
There is a hill in this locality called Keash Hill. Caves at the back of this hill are still pointed out as places where giants lived. Nearby there is a hollow with a flag flooring which is called the "Giants' Table" and likely it is here they cooked and eat their food.
Running parallel to this hill and at the back of it is a place called "Dun Ui Bhéara" where the Cailleach Bhéara is supposed to have lived.
Old people tell stories of a fight between the Cailleach Bhéara and one of the giants. He stood on the summit of the hill and fired stones down at her. She lifted stones and earth and fired them up at him. The stones that reached the top of the hill form a "cairn" which is still to be seen. The place from which they were taken formed a small lake which remains to the present day.
Some time ago if children were bold their mothers threatened to tell Cailleach Bhéara and immediately they got quiet. She was able to walk across Lough Arrow and the waters at their deepest part just reached her arm pit.
The Griddle is the name of a townland in the southern part of the parish of Easkey. In this townland is a famous cromlech called the Griddle stone. The Griddle stone is a great big flat stone resting on three smaller stones. The old people say that this stone marks the burial place of a giant long ago.
The Giants Grave is situated in the Deerpark. There are three departments in it. Some say that Giants were buried there and that it got its name from them. Others say that Owen Bell was buried there and others say it was a Druid's Altar.
There are a number of big stones there and there is a lovely view from it.
It was more like a big grave in olden time than it is at present. There is an old story told of the grave by an old man who lived in Chapel Town near Cnoc Mór, a hill near Colga lake. He told that the giant stood on the middle of this hill to consider where he should have his grave. He looked towards the sunrise and said he would have it in that direction. He walked to the Deerpark and dug his grave there. He found his health failing. He remained in the Deerpark and lay in his grave every night. One night he died in it. It is not known how he was covered but it was well done.
From the Schools Collection of the 1930s, currently being digitised at duchas.ie. I like that other features of the landscape and the direction of the sunrise should be part of the story. Was Owen Bell one of the kings of Connacht? Mere googling is not telling me much.
In the townland of Lislary there is a fairy fort. When you enter it you can go half mile to your right and the same to your left. There is a tunnel in this fort; it was well built. On each side and overhead there are heavy stone flags. It is six feet high and there are hob holes on each side in the walls. It is on a hill in the middle of a field. Lights were seen several times in this fort, they are not stationary but keep travelling. Big black cats, large as dogs are often seen there.
The owner lives a quarter of a mile from it. One time he was building walls so he took stones from the forth. He got sick and had to remain six weeks in bed. The stones were found to be the cause of his illness, so when they were returned he arose at once.
Between Colloney and Ballymote there is a townland called Carrick-Banagher. In it there is a fort which belongs to the fairies. Cashel it is called. Many people say they have seen lights there, travelling around. It resembles a candle placed on a pole which was carried around by a man. The light appears about twelve, and continues to one o'clock. If a person in the district is ill, beautiful music is heard if the person is going to die. This music can be heard quite plainly five miles away.