Local History

This page was written and researched by the fifth class pupils of St. Paul's School.

The Wise Women of Mungret - A Legend

A long, long time ago in the early sixth century, there were monasteries in Mungret and on Scattery Island. The monks of these monasteries were very famous for their intelligence and learning. People came from all over Europe to learn. Mungret monastery had schools with lots of students there, but Scattery Island's school had lots of students also. The Abbot of Mungret monastery was St. Nessan. One day Mungret's monks heard about Scattery Island's monastery and they found out that they were equally as good as they. So they decided to have a debate between both of them. Scattery Island's monks would come to Mungret to have the debate.

 

 

The monks of Scattery and Mungret started reading lots of books. The monks of Mungret knew that Scattery Island's monks were better than they were. Then one of the clever monks from Mungret came up with a plan: two of the smartest monks would go down to the Shannon river's bank dressed in women's clothing to fool Scattery Island monks. It took three days for Scattery Island monks to get to Mungret. Mungret's monks sent one man to the guard tower. He shouted, "they're here they're here," So the men got into the women's clothing, went to the riverbank and pretended to wash clothes. The monks from Scattery Island reached Mungret.

 

 

When the Abbot of Scattery Island stepped out of the boat, he asked the "women" where they were. One of the 'women' answered, "You are near Mungret". "Oh good" answered the Abbot of Scattery. "Why do you want to come to Mungret?"."Did you not hear that we are having a debate?" the Abbot said. "A debate about what?" the "women" asked. "About everything" said the monk. The "women" discussed many interesting things. The monks were amazed. "May we talk alone please?", said the Abbot. "Oh, yes, no problem" said the "women". The monks had a discussion between themselves. "The servants themselves are very intelligent so I wonder how we are going to beat the monks", said the Abbot. So they set off and pretended that they got lost.

 

 

The 'women' ran back to the monastery where they told the story over a feast. They laughed and drank their finest wine still in the women's clothing. So the monks celebrated by feasting all that night. Now Mungret kept its fame for their monastery all over Ireland.

by Rachel, Aisling and Sorcha Saint Paul's Primary School.

Back to the Top of the Page