St Johnston and Carrigans Donegal



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This story courtesy of Duchas from the late 1930s has shades of the Stumpy's Brae legend. Both stories claim to report a murder which they date before the first appearance of the "Stumpie's Brae" poem in 1845.

The second story has very obvious parallels with Stumpy. The man has no name. He is just the stocking man. And he carries money around. He is killed when asleep by greedy people with an axe. One interesting aspect is how there is no real supernatural aftermath. The first might hint at a haunting for it says nothing would grow at the spot of the murder.

When Mrs Alexander wrote Stumpies Brae in 1845, she said it was based on a local legend.  It seems there were several and the legend gave rise to the version she preserved forever in her poem.


The stocking man’s corner between this school and Carrigans just below Miss Hunters house there is a place known as “The stocking man’s corner”. It seems that about 80 or 90 years ago a harmless individual known as the Stocking man was found dead here. He had been murdered and the murderer was never bought to justice old people said that nothing would grow at the place where he was found and it is certainly true that there is a gap in the hedge to this day. Place is in townland of Monreagh Parish of Taughboyne barony of north Raphoe.

Story told by Robert Smyth (milkman) Monreagh who died 1923 aged 70.

Told to R J James N T

Monreagh Carrigans Lifford in year 1908

Story About The Stocking Man’s Well.

This well is in the townland of Monreagh.

About one hundred years ago there came a man one night to the well and he sat down on a stone beside it and he had a bag of stockings with him and he had some money also. About twelve o’clock that night there came to that well three men and they found the man sleeping and they got hatchets each and killed the man.

Next morning there came two men along the road and they found the man lying dead and that was the reason that well got its name. The Stocking Man’s Well.

Pupil’s name :- Marjorie Dillon, Monreagh, Carrigans, Co. Donegal.

Note:- I got this story from my father.

St. Johnston No 2 National School.