Saint Patrick's links with Coney Island and Sligo involve tales of prayers, cures and curses.
Legend has it that Saint Patrick cast down the large boulder on the north-west shore of Coney Island in County Sligo, which is known as Saint Patrick's wishing chair. On just one day a year it is possible to sit on the stone and make a single wish that may be granted.
Saint Patrick is purported to have prayed while seated on the stone. Coney Island inhabitants have many stories related to the stone and there are a number of cures associated with it.
No one knows how long Saint Patrick spent on Coney but one story recounts that he was not pleased with the dinner he was served.
It is reputed there was a woman called Stoney on the Island and she offered Saint Patrick a dinner of rabbit. When he arrived she had his meal under a platter, but when he lifted the platter a cat jumped off the plate.
He cursed her and cursed the island and it is reputed that she would never have four sons to carry her coffin.
In Strandhill, close to Coney Island, lie the ruins of Kilaspugbrone, the Church of Bishop Brón. Bronus was a disciple of Saint Patrick’s who helped propagate the Christian faith.
It is said that while visiting the fifth century church, Saint Patrick lost a tooth. He gave the tooth to Bronus who enshrined it in the church. In 1376 the relic was housed in an ornate silver and gold shrine for the Lord of Athenry Thomas de Birmingham, who owned the lands of Killaspugbrone.
Serín Fhiacaill Pádraig, the Shrine of Saint Patrick’s Tooth, has survived through the centuries and can be viewed in the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 17 March 2004. The reporter is Eileen Magnier.