Fishing Folklore

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Because of the fishing tradition is so strong in West Cork, there are many customs and folktales that have a fishing theme.

Fishing Customs

There were many customs related to fishing, and these might vary according to location.  Miceal Ó Mhurchadha recounted some of the fishing customs from of Caherkeen on the Beara Peninsula (Dú

  • ‘Long ago when the people used to go seining the people of the house used throw an old shoe after them for luck’.
  • ‘They used make the sign of the cross with holy water before leaving the house’.
  • ‘When the men used pick the stones for to stop the fish they used not pick any white stone’.
  • ‘Fishermen do not start the season on a Monday night’.
  • ‘If a seine should have a big haul of fish on Sunday night it would be a bad sign for the rest of the week’.
West Cork Fishing-Related Folktales

Fishermen feature in a number of West Cork folktales.  Below we provide links to a selection of our favourites from the Schools’ Folklore Collection, which have been digitised and published on Dú They are organised thematically, and alphabetically by place.


Castletownbere, Durdie and the Fairies


Bantry, A Phantom Boat

Courtmacsherry, Scott’s Ghost

Strange Sea-Creatures


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