The Préachán (Crow) of Omeath

The Préachán (Crow) of Omeath Co. Louth

Close to the townland of Knocknagoran, one of 10 townlands in Omeath Co. Louth there lived an old woman whom the adults said was about 250 years old. Others said that she was a witch, but no one young or old could remember where she came from or how long she had been there. The oldest other person in the parish was 92 and still of sound mind and she could only remember her as a very old woman when she was still a child.

She spent a lot of time during the day lying across the wall of her garden and there wasn't one who passed that wasn't asked, "Cá bhfuil tú ag dul?"  (Where are you going?) You could pass up and down 40 times a day and it was always the same question. Many a one told her lies just for the sake of changing the story. Nobody was really going anywhere those days and if ever anyone did go somewhere that was out of the ordinary sure the whole parish knew about it without people having to ask.

One night a crowd of Leprechauns on the way to a dance up at the fairy fort at Ardaghy passed her house. She should have been in at that hour of the evening and sitting by the fire but she was still hanging over the wall.

''Cá bhfuil sibh ag dul?" (Where are ye going?) she asked them.

''To the fairy fort above at Ardaghy,'' said one of them

“Cá bhfuil sibh ag dul ansin?” (Where are you going then?)

We are going to dance with the fairies!

“Cá bhfuil sibh ag dul ansin?" (Where are you going then?)

“Back home to our own cavern below the mountain,” he answered slightly exasperated.

Cá bhfuil sibh ag dul ansin?” (Where are you going then?)

Cá, Cá, Cá, the Leprechaun shouted at her. Have you nothing more to say than Cá, and with that he cast a spell on her and turned her into a crow. And there she still sits on the the wall above at Knocknagoran still talking to passers by. Cá, Cá, Cá, but nobody pays any heed of her any more.