The Hound of Iskaheen

Nellie from Iskaheen was courting John who came from Derry. On the summers evening they would walk the beautiful road around Iskaheen.

On one such evening they were making their way towards Grainne’s Gap, the road between Scalp Mountain and Ash Devlin. John suddenly started edging Nellie towards the side of the road. When she asked what was happening, John replied that he didn’t like the look of the big dog that was coming down from the hill. Nellie looked but could see no signs of a dog no matter how hard she looked.

Thinking that he was trying to tease her she turned to scold him and she saw a terrible look of fear on his face. John’s eyes seemed to be fixed on some phantom racing towards him.

Time seemed to stand still for Nellie until eventually he turned, still white-faced and asked her if she’d seen it. She said that she didn’t and he described a very large dog, resembling an Irish Wolfhound that ran towards them at great speed. When it drew level with him it looked at him with large sad eyes. Once it passed him it vanished into thin air.

When Nellie returned home to her father and told him what John had seen he was able to tell them an old folklore tale of that area.

Eoin was the son of Niall of the Nine Hostages and chieftain of Inis Eoghain – meaning the Isle of Eoin. When he died he was buried in the old celtic churchyard of Iskaheen. The modern day church stands beside the remains of the old church and graveyard.
It is said that the ‘Phantom Hound’ was the favourite wolfhound of Eoin and that he still searches for his long dead master, Niall.”




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