Wexford

Wexford is bounded by the sea on two sides; on the south by the Atlantic Ocean and on the east by St. George’s Channel and the Irish Sea.

It is not then surprising that maritime folklore has brought us many stories of the sea and the people that went down to the sea, some to return, some never to leave it except in spectral forms.

Along the east coast, at Arklow and Courtown and other seaside villages, the seas are not ordinarily as high as Atlantic rollers to the south; but sand banks off the coast were often a death trap for sailing ships before the coming of sonar sounded warning.

The south coast of the county meets the Atlantic where waves can rise up to mountains if the seas are stormy .

All the more reason why stories sweep in and around Wexford. However, a story can appear different when told by those at sea and those ashore.

For folklore is not history. It is history of a sort; it is more the history of how people saw matters as it suited them at any time.

Historians must be accurate in their records; for that is important; but the folklorist gathers stories that, in the telling, show as much about the teller as they do the story told.

Perspectives change in the telling of a story. The further away from danger we travel the braver we become in the telling.

The smallest achievement becomes an heroic deed. The omission fades in the telling, until it was never there at all. The timid become tigers with the safety of time.

The silly antagonist becomes sillier as fear of retribution and rebuke fade away.

A good place to start a story.




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