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Mayo Folklore

County Mayo has a unique heritage of oral and written folklore which provides a window into a world inhabited by past generations. This page brings together a number of fantastic folklore projects undertaken throughout the county.

In this beautifully produced film Mayo County Library has assembled a treasury of forgotten lore, customs, rituals and superstitions which belong to a world fast disappearing but still alive in the folk memory of the Irish people. 

This Footage was written and researched by Mayo County Library and produced by ScannĂ¡n Inbhear and Fliuch Films, Erris, Co. Mayo.


The Through the Ages Project, an initiative developed by the Western People, Creative Ireland and Mayo Library Service for Mayo Day 2020 brought together the reminiscences of grandparents across the county as reported by their grandchildren. The project connected grandchildren and grandparents during an unprecedented period in our history as we battled the challenges brought about by a global pandemic. Through the Ages serves as a chronicle of life through the middle decades of the twentieth century and is an invaluable social history of a bygone era. See below for the full magazine in pdf format.

The Through the Ages project contributes in some  small way to the wealth of information already gathered in the Schools Folklore Collection. The Schools' Scheme of 1937-1938 represented one of the greatest drives ever undertaken in the field of folklore collecting. Over a period of eighteen months, children in primary schools were involved in seeking out and setting down for posterity, material dealing with a wide range of Irish folk tradition. This investigation embraced folk tales and folk legends, riddles and proverbs, songs, customs and beliefs. Games and pastimes as well as descriptions of traditional work practices and crafts - eg. the manufacture of home-made toys - and many other topics were covered. The library holds microfilm copies of most of the material collected by schools in County Mayo. Note that the quality and quantity of the material collected by each school varies. The index to the microfilm reels  of the Schools Folklore Collection held in Castlebar Library can be viewed below.The national collection can be viewed and searched at

Folklore Documents

Through the Ages Newspaper supplement published in the Western People for Mayo Day 2020 available to view below. Index to the Mayo Library microfilm holdings of the Schools Folklore Collection available to view below.

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