Stokane Mythic Mural

The making of an Appliqué Mural
Celebrating Myths of the Stokane/Enniscrone Area
Spring 2005

A collaboration between Stokane National School and local artist Andrew Wilson
Sponsored by Sligo County Council Arts Education

The Field Trip

On 15th April we all got into a coach and set out to visit local areas of special interest which were close to the school. Pupils had notebooks and pencils and Andrew took some photographs. He told us we would be making a mural out of fabric and fibre using themes from the places we visited. First we would draw a map of the area showing the location of the school, Ballina, the River Moy and Enniscrone. Every map has an arrow showing where North is. The story sites would then be marked in and the different tasks were to be farmed out to different groups of pupils. Each group had to tell the story to the class group. We would be using materials from Connaught Creative Resource Centre, Castlebar (0949029161). For a nominal annual membership, a school or community group can collect bags of odds and ends suitable for craft-work in a school.


First we travelled to Kilbride Dolmen, a distance of 8km east of the school. This National Monument is over 5000 years old, and lay hidden under peat for much of that time until the 1940s when a turf-cutter discovered it. Dolmens were built to store the ashes of those whose remains had been cremated. These paintings of the dolmen above were created by pupils in the junior classes.

A Neolithic funeral pyre - the ashes were afterwards put into the Dolmen

This is a painting by pupils in the junior classes. It shows the Stone Age people standing around the pyre as the remains were burned. The ashes would later be stored inside the dolmen. Some of these dolmens are called Diarmuid and Gráinne's beds. In the legend, Diarmuid eloped with Gráinne and was closely pursued by Fionn who was promised Gráinne in marriage by her father, King Cormac Mac Art. As they fled around Ireland, legend tells us that Diarmuid made stone huts to sleep in at night.

The Mermaid Rocks at Scurmore

The Mermaid Rocks at right and the Fairy Fort at left

The Storyof the Mermaid Rocks

Andrew took this photograph of the Mermaid Rocks at Scurmore, near Enniscrone. The legend tells us that Thady Rua O'Dowd married a mermaid and they had seven beautiful children. Thady hid her fish-tail so that she couldn't return to the sea, but one day she found it and set off with her children towards the sea. She turned five of them into bouldrers at Scurmore, another was left as a boulder close to the sea and the youngest was taken into the sea with her.

The O'Dowd Chief hiding the Mermaid's cloak   The O'Dowd Castle   The O'Dowd Chief, his Mermaid wife and their five children

The Black Pig of Enniscrone


The Story of  the Black Pig of Enniscrone

The story goes that a huge pig swam into Killala Bay and landed on the beach at Enniscrone. It was starving, and as it raced through the town, it killed many people. Long-handled spears were made, and the pig was chased out of town where it was killed at a place called Muckduff. Its body was covered with clay, and the mound is here to this day.

The Donegal and Enniscrone pigs fighting

The Mermaid Path

The rocks at Enniscrone are mainly limestone but there are a number of volcanic dykes that cut through the limestone. The path made by the outcroping granite is called a Mermaid's Path.

The Mermaid coming up the Mermaid's Path which is really a volcanic Dyke


The Mural

(Click image to enlarge)


The pupils and teachers would like to thank Andrew and his partner Barbara for all their help and support in bringing this mural to life in the school. We will remember them, and treasure the work always.