This section is from the book "Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms, And Superstitions Of Ireland", by Jane Francesca Wilde. Also available from Amazon: Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms, And Superstitions Of Ireland.
At Innis-Murry, Sligo, there is a large table-stone supported on eight perpendicular stones as a pedestal. And on the table are seventy-three stones, from five to twenty inches in circumference, which have been lying there from the most ancient times ; for to remove them would be at the peril of one's life.
On these seventy-three stones all the anathematic spirit of the island is concentrated. If the islanders suffer any injury, real or supposed, they come and turn these stones, uttering a malediction over their enemy, and should he be guilty he will assuredly die, or suffer some calamity before the year is out.
A Scripture reader, having boldly taken away one of these stones to show the folly of the superstition, was obliged to restore it and to quit the island, or his life would not have been safe.
There is another stone on the island where, alone can fires be lighted, should all the domestic fires become extinct, and the spark must be struck from the stone itself.
Innis-Murry is a desolate spot, rarely visited ; the approach is so dangerous on account of the sunken rocks. The crops are scanty, and the soil is poor and light, growing only a short herbage of a spiral and sharp kind. Neither scythe nor sickle could be used in the entire island. Meal is unknown, and dairy produce scarcely to be had, as the grass can only support a few sheep ; but the islanders have fish in abundance, crabs, lobsters, and mackerel especially.
A traveller, who visited the island about fifty years ago, describes the manners and mode of living as most primitive ; but the women have the reputation of being exceedingly virtuous, and the households are happy and well conducted. At that time a rude stone image was venerated by the people, called "Father Molosh," but supposed to be an ancient pagan idol, probably Moloch. The priest, however, has since had it destroyed.