Vote for your favorite Irish Balderdash!

Now is the time! Vote for your favorite Irish Balderdash story! You have one week!

Roundup: Irish Balderdash

The Dr. Hurley crew is back from Ireland and is excited to see how much you’ve all enjoyed our most recent 100-word contest!

Tomorrow we’ll be launching a poll for you to vote for your favorite of the Irish Balderdash submissions, but for now here’s a roundup of all the entries for you to review and carefully consider your vote!



Irish Balderdash: Rascalstreet (Co. Cork)


he town of Rascalstreet was founded because of my Grandpa Douglas and his fondness for women and whiskey.

The first in his streak of unforgivable acts was lacing city milk with whiskey. Cats couldn’t catch mice, and teetotalers did cartwheels after breakfast. His influence spread when he invented a swiveled mirror to see under ladies dresses and sold them for tuppenny each.

“This must be stopped!” Declared Edna Pye of the Convention of Concerned Women. The CCW paced with signs and chained themselves to fences, and finally won their petition to found Rascalstreet – a place for the country’s rascals.

by Mary Mann

Irish Balderdash: Nenagh Bridge


nce upon a time, there was a young woman named Nenagh, who wished for romance.  Every night, she left her village, stood by the lake, and wished for adventure, for a new world, for a searing embrace.  One evening, she found a pure white lily floating on the surface, and she reached for it.  A selkie erupted from the water, grabbed Nenagh in his arms, and pulled her beneath the waves to his home.  Where she disappeared, a bridge bloomed from the ground, and so the town was named in honor of her passion, and his magic.

by Emily Markussen Sorsher

Irish Balderdash: Leenaun (Co. Galway)

aeries are not the only fey creatures of Eire; there once lived giants, fluid as the sea and clear as glass. These water giants carved wonders: the angular steps of the Giant’s Causeway, the curious limestone of The Burren.

Glaciers swept the giants clear; most joined the sea. One would not leave the waterfall she had coaxed from rock and river. She laid, an arm stretched to touch Ashleag falls, as the glacier rolled over her, stretching her toward the ocean. She is Ireland’s only fjord, filling twice daily to touch Ashleag. Leenaun, where the tide fills; Leenaun, the sheltered.

by Jessica Brophy

Irish Balderdash: Dooneyvarden (Co. Clare)


township in West Clare formed when an English mapmaker, exhausted from his trudge up Corkscrew Hill, asked a farmer if he might repast in his barn.

The farmer, with the Irish still on his tongue and the spirit much on his breath, thought the mapmaker threatened the virtue of his prized jennet, Dooney.

“Dooney’s a virgin!” cried the farmer, but the Englishman heard “Dooneyvarden” and, after descending the Corkscrew in wake of the farmer’s scythe, marked the area as such.

The name holds fast for the Irish love of any tale wherein an Englishman makes a jennet of himself.

by Amanda Bales

Irish Balderdash, Termonfeckin (Co. Louth)

ave you heard of Termonfeckin, the town that overlooks the Irish Sea? It’s small in size, made up of modest farmers, but its history is slightly… phantasmic.

The town was raided throughout the centuries since its inception. Such war isn’t without casualties. It has been said Termonfeckin Castle is not a place to visit after dark, unless you’re meeting the ghost of Kieran Feichin, a soldier who died defending the land of his forefathers. He died a death not befitting of an honorable man. He still paces the grounds, awaiting his redemption.

And so became Tearmann Feichin, a refuge indeed.

by Jesseca Stenson

Irish Balderdash: Magheranaskeagh (Co. Offaly)


his colourful name is a neologism invented c. 1700 by an anonymous group in county Laois, as a metonymic onomatopoeic expression referring  – under multiple sophisticated rhetorical device guises – to the supposedly inferior quality of fishing rods manufactured in rival county Offaly, where Magheranaskeagh is located. (citation needed) As with many jokes – especially the ones that turn into inside jokes after a night at the local pub – it is difficult if not impossible to explain them (which would also make the joke not funny anymore). The rumour that a place called Magheranaskeagh exists persists despite modern aerial imaging technology.

by Frauke Uhlenbruch

Dr. Hurley’s Digest, Week 21

While your humble editors are up to their elbows in archival research on Dr. Hurley in his homeland and up to their noses in pints of stout in his favorite drinking establishments, this week’s content has taken us all over the place: to Thailand (almost), back in time to 19th century Paris, to a tropical locus amoenus, to mysterious Asian backalleys, backwards through a lifetime from old age to infancy, and finally to Dr. Hurley’s home and the oddly named towns of Ireland.  Anyone else’s metaphorical passport taking a beating?

Work through your metaphorical jetlag by perusing the following:




And let’s not forget this week’s entries into our Irish Balderdash contest, which continues tomorrow! So far, we’ve seen:

Irish Balderdash: The Saltee Islands (Co. Wexford)


(Note the following is an extract taken from the accounts of that Pirate and seafaring blaccard known as The Albatross)


une 7th, 1766

“…and it was at Latitude 52 degress 8′ 30” North, Longitude 6 degrees 41′ West, one league from the Quay of Kilmore that we did first encounter the turbulent shores of the Saltee Islands. The nipper of the islands we found to be impenetrable, but we did find purchase against t’other; and its shores lined with caves in which we stowed our gains for returnin’ to another day…”

by Tony Healey