The Legend of Spiorad na mBarna / Moll O'Shaughnessy
Monday 23rd, May 2022
Irish Report / Story
Just outside the town of Newcastle in West County Limerick is a rural area called Barna. Barna is reported to be the place of strange goings on.

The Spirit of Barna otherwise known as Spiorad na mBarna is the name given to a woman who lived in the area in the late 1800's.

The woman know as Spiorad na mBarna was originally known as Moll O'Shaughnessy before the legend existed.

Moll was considered a down to earth woman which is why it came as a shock when Moll murdered her husband and young child in a rage.

The community decided that Moll should suffer a faith/punishment that fit with what she had done to her Husband and child, so the community decided that Moll should be sentenced to death by being rolled down a hill in a barrel lined with sharp and rusted nails.

Depending who you ask, some believe that a violent death is what leads to a spirit not passing over and being stuck on this mortal plain with unfinished business, possibly to get revenge.

The story goes that following the death of Moll, the following years were filed with many sightings that the community put down to Moll and the community believe that Moll was the one terrorising them.

Moll is reported to have been seen as a weeping woman or a rabid greyhound. But to make things worse, its believed that Moll was able to fulfill her unfinished business and get revenge. One night a man was riding on horseback through Barna as he passed under the Old Barna Bridge the horse emerged on the other side of the bridge alive but the rider was dead.

The community were very worried and didn't know what to do so there turned to a holy man from the nearby parish of Athea to banish the spirit of Moll from Barna, the legend goes that the holy man gave Moll O'Shaughnessy the penance of emptying the Red sea with a thimble full of holes.

To this day people have reported that they have seen Moll O'Shaughnessy at the bridge, as well as this there is a stone on the bridge that has a screaming women on it and some people report that the image of the screaming woman moves around, one it might be over to the left of the stone, another it could be on the other side of the bridge.

Regardless if you believe in the legend of Spiorad na mBarna, would you pass under the bridge on your own at night?
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