Halloween, All Saint's and All Soul's DayStationsSaint PatrickSaint BrigidEaster

Hallowe’en is an important Irish festival. It is held on the night of the 31st of October. It is an old Irish feast day to mark the end of autumn. Goblins, ghouls, banshees and all types of ghosts are meant to come out on this night. People lit bonfires to warn off evil spirits and they dressed up as ghosts so if they met a ghost they would blend in. The tradition of trick or treating comes from the time when beggars went from house to house looking for spices and soul cakes, if they didn’t get something they would play tricks on the people. Nowadays we eat báirín breac, nuts and all types of fruit.
The two days that follow are called All Saints Day and All Souls Day. They are to remember the saints that don’t have their own special feast day and to remember all the people that have died belong to us. We say prayers for them on the first and second of November.

In the autumn and spring , Stations are held in peoples houses. Stations are a lovely custom. Two priests come to a home in each district, Hear Confessions, say mass and have breakfast in the house. The neighbours assemble for the occasion and make it a social, as well as a religious one. It is said that the station custom goes back to the Penal days, when Catholics were not allowed to worship in Pubic but, with a faith that was stronger than fear, they continued to practice their religion. Priests said mass in lonely places isolated mountain homes and people trudged long distances across the countryside to attend.
St. Patrick is an important saint. He was 22 when he came to Ireland. All the Irish people were Pagans. St. Patrick was captured by Nile of the nine hostages. We still celebrate his feast day on the 17th of March every year. People go to mass and wear a shamrock on this day to show the three persons in one God. St. Patrick told the Irish people that on this shamrock there are three leaves, just like there are three persons in the one God. St. Patrick was a Bishop who banished the snakes from Ireland. We honour him at his parades every year and there are gymnastics, fire-breathers and Irish music in every pub. We go to mass on St. Patrick’s Day. He told the people that there were three Gods in our God. They didn’t understand so he picked up a shamrock and showed them the three persons in the one God.

Jessica wrote this poem about St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Macroom:

St. Patrick

St. Patrick is coming,
Hear the drummer’s drumming,
Band’s of music playing,
People swaying.
Lots of children on the street,
Some yummy things to eat,
Dancing people in parades,
Some people play charades,
Patrick became a prisoner,
Of evil high King Niall,
He minded sheep for six years,
On the Irish Isle


Abby wrote another one:

Saint Patrick

Saint Patrick was very good,
He always did the best he could,
Saint Patrick told us that it was best,
To love God and all the rest,
As if with a magic potion,
He put the snakes in the ocean,
So if you want to be seen,
Wear the shamrocks glorious green,
We like to be happy and gay,
On Saint Patricks Day.


St. Brigid’s day is on the 1st of February. St. Brigid always had great interests in nature. She loved the Spring. She loved the flowers and the trees and the colours. St. Brigid built a monastery in Kildare once St. Brigid went to pagan who was dying on a bed of hay. She took some of the hay and made it into a cross. She explained God to him and before he died he became a Christian. Every February we make a cross to remember her. Before she died she asked the chief for land to build a monastery.He asked how much she wanted and she laid out her cloak. It grew and grew until it covered a lot of ground and the chief had to give her that much land. She helped the sick and the poor.

Here is a photo of a cross I made from rushes last February

Easter is a Christian feast which is celebrated in the springtime. We celebrate the feast on a Sunday. Before Easter we have to give up something we like for 40 days because Jesus fasted in the desert for us for 40 days.
This time of fasting is called Lent. Holy Week starts on Palm Sunday when Jesus when into Jerusalem on a donkey. He had a Special meal with his Apostles it was called the Last Supper. This day called Holy Thursday. He died on Good Friday and he rose on Easter Sunday. On Easter Sunday we can break our fast. Over these holy days we go to a lot of ceremonies to honour Jesus. At Easter children get Easter Eggs.

Songs & Poems

Songs and Poems of Rusheen

On this page, you will find some of our traditional local songs and poems. Further down the page, you will find songs and poems by contemporary poets.


It isn’t known who wrote this song:

That Little Quaint Old Chapel of Rusheen

There a streamlet headlong rushes,
‘mong the golden blossom bushes,
There a lonely clump of Larches may be seen,
Whose old the stream is laving,
Whilst among branches waving,
Smiles that little quaint old Chapel of Rusheen.

There on Sunday morning smiling,
When all is free from toiling,
Tripping o’er each dewed and winding pass.
All responsive to the warning chimes, in the early morning,
Comes the group of boys and girls to Holy Mass.

There’s no choir whose notes so feeling,
Or no Synod is stealing.
To disturb the solemn silence of the scene,
But repented bosoms bended.
Where prayer with love is blended,
In that happy congregation at Rusheen.

Though my prayers were o’ft negected,
When my visions were directed,
To an angel – featured nymph of seventeen,
And I wished that at the alter,
With the matrimonial halter,
We’d be bound some happy morning at Rusheen.

But like some blooming flower,
The fairest in the bower,
Which blooms today, tomorrow is decayed.
Thus my hopes like all the others,
With it’s tranced and vanished brother’s,
With sinking hearts I saw them sadly fade.

Many years of joy and sadness,
Lit with fitful gleams of gladness.
Have passed alike through desert and demesne.
Since we reckless youths assembled,
And some of us oft trembled,
To here kind words of counsel at Rusheen.

When instructions were completed,
Many a row there was created.
But the good priest thought it right to intervene.
And with words sincere and holy
Checked us for our youthful folly,
But his words were often wasted at Rusheen.

Now the sagart’s no more preaching,
Long has ceased his zealous teaching,
O’er his grave alas the grass grows green,
And now all whom he upgraded,
Now by cares cold shadow shaded ,
Have drifted far away from sweet Rusheen.

Thus the exile o’er the ocean,
O’er the crested wave commotion,
Have beheld with tear wet eyes,
That well known scene.
When they turned their longing eyes,
On one bright spot on the horizon ,
It’s that little quaint old Chapel of Rusheen.

Rusheen’s Sunny Borders

This song was written by Con ‘Poet’ Ahern who lived at Carrigthomas, Ballinagree. ‘Poet’ Ahern was jailed for poaching salmon in the Launey River. It is thought that he was the victim of a jealous reaction from a local policeman who encouraged him to poach and then prosecuted him in the action. Con Ahern contacted Black Fever in jail and died some time after his release in the year 1864. He was very prolific writer of poetry and songs.

By Rusheen’s sunny borders one morning while rambling,
To view its shady arbours so thoughtfully pondering,
When a lovely comely female simultaneously attracted me.
With winsome comely features and in array- ment dressed most handsomely,
And then she sang most charming my darling I’m fond of you.

I saluted this young lady in an air of humble modesty,
I asked her was she Venus, sweet Helen or Poseidon.
I thought she was the fairest that nature framed so fortunate,
Since the downfall of Adam in the garden of paradise,
And then she sang most charming my darling I’m fond of you.

Excuse me Sir for stating if you aiming at such flattery,
By prudence and precaution I guard against such policy.
But if you’re contemplating now violation of my chastity,
I warned by experience to beware of such calamity,
And then she sang most charming my Darling I’m fond of you.

Oh! My winsome comely lady you really do astonish me,
You ought to speak more graceful to a swain of my ability.
But speaking only seriously I declare to you most solemnly,
To high-men’s celebration I would stray with you most heartily,
And then she sang most charming my Darling I’m fond of you.

Oh! Excuse me Sir for stating that police are fond of bantering,
They’re seldom in one station but from place to place are cantering,
There is a poet convenient and I’m lately getting fond of him.
I think him far superior to a faithless poor sub-Constable,
And then she sang most charming my Darling I’m fond of you.

Oh! My winsome comely lady you really do astonish me,
What is he but a farmer possessed of pride and poverty.
My way is far more decent and I am paid most handsomely,
By a powerful foreign lady her royal highest majesty,
And then she sang most charming my Darling I’m fond of you.

If I had the wealth of Damour or the riches of Lord Clarington,
A heap of gold far greater than the famous hills of Mangerton.
A wealth accumulated reserved in the past century.
I’d willing forsake them for that gifted Bard of Muskerry,
And then she sang most charming my darling I’m fond of you.

The Road to Rusheen

It is thought that this song may have been written by Peter Golden (1877-1926). He was a remarkable poet, patriot and writer of many texts. A plaque erected in Masseytown, Macroom stands to his memory.

On a glorious and pleasant May evening,
As I strolled out the road to Rusheen.
Where the flowers made the fields look most charming.
And the Woodlands made beautious each scene.
When down the “Wood-road” sweetly singing ,
Came a colleen I ne’er saw before,
And my heart missed a beat in my bosom,
And went out at her feet to adore.

She had hair like the golden sun setting,
She had eyes of the deepest sea blue.
And her cheeks like the east in the morning,
And her lips were the rose tipped with dew.
She’d a brow like the fairest of Lillies
And the walk and poise of a Queen.
And my heart it went out to her keeping ,
When we met on the road to Rusheen.

“Oh! Where are you going, Lovely Maiden,
And what is your name please?”I said.
“Oh! I’m going to Rusheen to do shopping,
And my name is Nell Kearney,”she said.
For I work in a neighbouring mansion ,
And my Mistress has sent me you see,
But I must be back home in a jiffy,
For we haven’t got butter or tea.

“Oh may I walk on with you Nellie,
And bring back the shopping for you ?” ,
“Oh yes you may walk with me surely,
If you haven’t got better to do”.
So we talked and we walked on together ,
Myself and this lovely Coleen,
And I’ll ever remember the evening ,
That we met on the road to Rusheen.

Soon the shadows began to lenghthen ,
The birds and the bees went to rest.
The sun as though weary of labour,
Slowly sank in his bed in the west ,
The stars they came out in the gloaming ,
The moon through the trees could be seen.
When we suddenly thought of the shopping ,
As we stood on the road to Rusheen.

Our School

This poem was written in 1983 by Kevin Kelleher who was then a pupil of Rusheen N.S.

Two little rooms on a lonely hill
That became a National School
Where many teachers came and taught
For years implementing the rule.
A country church, a little shop,
A creamery down below
Made up the centre of our lives
And the Rusheen we all know.

My Dad, he went to school there.
My aunts, they went there too.
Generation after generation,
They all have passed right through.
It was in these two little rooms
And the people that they met
Have made Rusheen a foundation stone
And a place no one will forget.

A hundred years will have passed next year
Since that corner stone was laid
A hundred years of children’s voices
Where they learned, cried and played.
They’ll all return as grown ups
With sweet memories of the past,
Then sail into the future
With sweet memories that will last.


Music & Dance

We are very interested in Music and Dance in Rusheen N.S. We love to take part in the Scór na bPaistí Competitions held every year in February. Last year we were particularly successful, winning the Ballad Group, Set Dancing, Figure Dancing and Quiz. We have often won the Denis O’Donovan Memorial Trophy awarded annually to the best school.

We also do Sean Nós Dancing, Ceilí Dancing and we like doing Zumba Dancing also in the school.

Zumba Dancing

Ballad Group – Winners of Muskerry Final Scór na bPáistí

Figure Dancers – Muskerry Final Scór na bPáisti

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