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The Saltee Islands

In honour of the day that's in it, I thought I would share this quirky bit of folklore about the Saltee Islands. Best known as a thriving bird sanctuary off the South of the county, in this tale we hear how the islands are linked to Co. Tipperary and St. Patrick. You can view this story and many others online at, a treasure trove of memories which is well worth taking the time to visit!

Saltee Islands

At the north end of the Saltee Islands there is a collection of rocks and soil called the Devils Bit. The Devil carried this bit of soil from Tipperary, because St. Patrick chased him out of Ireland, he picked up a mouthful of Tipperary, and kept it in his mouth until he came to the sea. The devil ran through Kilmore with a fearful rattling of chains in the middle of the night, and when he came to the sea at Kilmore Quay he started to swim and at the Saltee Islands he threw the bit out of his mouth. And ever since that spot is called The Devils Bit.

Told by Mr. J. Furlong. Ballyharty,Co. Wexford

References & Images:

Story & Photo taken from The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0878, Page 023 by Dúchas © National Folklore Collection, UCD is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0.

Screenshot of Saltee Islands taken from on 16/03/2021

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