A Mayo dance hall once associated with an infamous appearance of the devil hosts a charity night to raise money for a family in Bosnia.

The ballroom in Tooreen, County Mayo became one of Ireland's best-known venues for a very unusual reason. Back in 1954, it was reported that the Devil himself came to a dance in the ballroom. 

Once a Mecca in Connacht for dance lovers and courting couples alike.

On the night of 23 December 1954, it is alleged that the devil himself made an appearance at the ball. 

Michael Henry was there on the night and describes what he witnessed when a dark stranger arrived at the ballroom in a big black car. Michael Henry sings a song about the devil at a dance which accompanies illustrations of the scenes from the night. 

However others are not convinced William Folliard says the story is

A whole lot of nonsense.

While Martin Healy is also sceptical about whether there is any truth in the tale. 

It was rumoured at the time when the story broke that it was the managers of a rival dance hall who made sure that the story of the dancing devil spread far and wide. However, Tooreen man John Duffy said that the story had the opposite effect with people travelling from all over to visit the dance hall. The story of the devil dancing in a Mayo ballroom made national and international news.

A number of couples who used to dance at the ballroom in Tooreen returned for a charity night to raise money to house a Muslim woman. Patricia Keane, Chairperson of Rebuild for Bosnia, describes how a woman was so desperate for a home that she advertised her kidney for sale. 

This episode of 'Nationwide' was broadcast on 17 June 2002. The reporter is Eibhlín Ní Chonghaile.