The Phantom Currach

On the last day of October 1923, a man was waiting by the old dock for his mate just as
dawn was breaking. He had walked all the way from Blacksod Point, a distance of almost
four miles, to go out into Elly Bay to lift the two herring nets they had cast the night
before, when suddenly he heard the noise of the oars on a currach and on looking to his
right he saw a few hundred yards away, a currach coming around the north side of Elly
Point with three men rowing in it.
He watched for a while, trying to figure out who those men could be while the currach and
its crew kept on coming towards the dock, then he turned round to his left to see whether
his mate or if any of the other fishermen had arrived yet. There he saw two men walking
down the old road to the shore where many currachs were resting on their props ready to
go out that morning. Suddenly remembering the currach that came around the point just a
few minutes before that, he was astonished the currach had disappeared, then he thought
the worst had happened and shouted to the other two men but they assured him they too
were looking in the same direction while they were walking along the road but saw no
They discussed this amongst themselves for a little while and one of the older men said this
was not a good omen. Within a short while all the other fishermen had arrived at the dock
and each crew put their currach to sea and all went out and collected their nets however,
one crew of three had to go back out and second time because of the very heavy catch of
herring in their nets, suddenly the south-east wind strengthened to near gale force, the sea
got very rough and the three men who had gone out for the second load, their currach was
swamped by the sea in the strong wind and they did not make it back to the shore.
The drowning took place less than 400 yards from where the man previously spotted a
currach with the three men rowing in it.
The three men who drowned on that morning, one was my grandfather and his brother in law
who also was my grand uncle and his first cousin.
It is believed that if the man, who first saw this ghost currach, had told the other fishermen
what he had seen they would have delayed going out by discussing this amongst themselves
and the sudden change in the weather would have come before they had a chance to go out.
It was always a common belief amongst the local folk that before a boat or currach drowning
took place; someone would have witnessed something like this before a drowning actually
However, this was a true story and is still remembered to this day.