The Irish Times

‘Clag’, midges and horse-flies


Sir, – I wouldn’t know if “clag” is peculiar to Leitrim (Kieran O’Rourke, December 10th) but I do know it was “cleg” in Derry. And many a time, like him, I was bitten by them and midges, especially on outdoor scouting activities when shorts were the order of the day. Again, like Kieran’s experience, it was a long time ago! – Yours, etc, CHRISTIE COLHOUN, Ballymena, Co Antrim.

Sir, – In response to a reader’s query about the use of the word “clag” for horsefly, my mother from Lincolnshi­re used to call them “cleggs”. It is an Old Norse word, and is klegg in modern Norwegian. – Yours, etc, BRIAN HODKINSON, Reboge, Limerick.

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