The Avondhu - By The Fireside
INTERVENTION OF A ‘DIVINE CLERIC’
Strange goings on were reported in Ballyhooly in 1925 as an ‘abominable pest’ was reportedly haunting the local Garda barracks.
A letter shared with
told of the horrors endured by Gardaí at the barracks, as one local Garda wrote to the Sergeant seeking a solution to the unusual happenings at the former RIC Barracks, located directly across the street from the old national school.
Within the letter, penned on November 1, 1925, the morning after All Hallows Eve, Garda William Murphy requested permission from the Sergeant to sleep upstairs in the dormitory with the rest of the men on any night on which he was B.O. (* Barrack Orderly).
“The Barrack is haunted, and infested with a band of evil spirits which come in the night time, and shower a host of incendiaries through the peaceful air of our abode, and presumably with some evil intent,” the letter read.
Continuing, Garda Murphy describes an incident which occurred on the night of October 31st , Halloween night, in which he claims there was ‘turmoil and confusion’.
“About midnight, there was a dreaded apparition of some vile wretch, seen by Gds Fleming and Fay, as they were peacefully reposing and which made terrifying grimaces at the former.
“The bed clothes were torn off Garda Barry by some invisible hand in the Day Room as he was B.O. There were also horrible sounds heard, which would tend to scatter the nerve power of any human being,” the letter reads.
Concluding, Garda Murphy appealed to the Sergeant to rid Ballyhooly Garda Barracks of the ‘haunting’ seeking intervention from a ‘divine cleric’.
“I hope that my authorities will grant the request sought, until such time as a Divine Cleric can be procured with a hope of ridding us of this abominable pest,” the letter concluded.
It is yet to be clarified as to whether the haunting of Ballyhooly Garda Barracks was as a result of Halloween pranksters or of supernatural forces.
Whether the barracks received help from a ‘divine cleric’ or other at the time to rid them of the ‘band of evil spirits’ remains unknown.
* A Barrack Orderly was to be the Garda on duty in the station on a given day. At the time, it was common for Gardaí to live in stations and barracks, and the B.O. would have ensured that incidents were recorded in the ‘day book’ or ‘occurrence book’ and often looked after the general upkeep and dayto-day running of the station, most importantly, keeping the fire lit! Today, the B.O. would be referred to as the P.O. (Public Officer) who deals with phone calls and people at the desk and have responsibility for prisoner welfare when there is somebody in custody.