Following our very successful fundraising and the kind donation made by Mary Golden, the Midfield Development Association has published a folklore book called "A Story Told to Us Last Night”, using a selection of local stories from the 1937/38 National Folklore Collection, plus stories written by the children of 2010 from Midfield National School (22 students took part in 2010). All stories are in the children’s original handwriting as were the original stories of 1937/38. We have been granted permission from UCD to publish the stories and this is the first time that UCD have given permission to publish the stories in the children’s original handwriting.
In 1937 the Irish Folklore Commission, in collaboration with the Department of Education and the Irish National Teachers' Organisation, initiated a revolutionary scheme in which schoolchildren were encouraged to collect and document folklore and local history.
Over a period of eighteen months some 100,000 children in 5,000 primary schools in the twenty-six counties of the Irish Free State were encouraged to collect folklore material in their home districts. The topics about which the children were instructed to research and write included local history and monuments, folktales and legends, riddles and proverbs, songs, customs and beliefs, games and pastimes, traditional work practices and crafts, etc. The children collected this material mainly from their parents and grandparents and other older members of the local community or school district.
The local schools which were involved in the 1937/38 stories are: Swinford National School, Brackloon National School, Cashel National School and Kinaffe National School.
These stories (stories that were told around the fireplace) help keep our tradition alive for generations to come and the book is a universal book which can be enjoyed by everyone both at home and by the wider Irish Communities abroad.
All proceeds from the sale of the book will go to the school development fund. Our plan is for the children of the past / present to help the children of the future.
This book will become part of our history and will be used as a historical document in years to come.