In the early 1940’s Bridie Gunning arrived on Achill. Born in about 1919 in Ballindoon, Co. Sligo. As a pupil at Ballymote Vocational School, she first became interested in folklore. Her schoolgirl hobby became a career when she took it upon herself to collect the folklore of her home county Sligo, followed by Mayo and Waterford. As a result 21 of the manuscripts in the Irish Folklore Department in University College, Dublin, are the fruits of her labour.
In the 1930’s there was a national competition, inviting entrants (schoolteachers) to submit an example of their work to the National Folklore Commission, as a schoolteacher Bridie was perhaps one of the entrants, although there is no record of her entry. Nevertheless she was one of the biggest collectors of that era. To read more on the collection follow the link: http://www.ucd.ie/irishfolklore/en/schoolsfolklorescheme1937-38/
Bridie met and married Keel man, Tony Mulloy, whose family owned the Village Inn, in the village. Tony school teacher, was very knowledgeable in the folklore and stories of Achill. Perhaps it was where and how they met!
Special thanks to Croistoir at the National Folklore Collection at University College Dublin