People in the Mullinabro area of South Kilkenny, close to Waterford Golf Course, have claimed that the cries of a banshee have been heard recently by locals and by some members of the Golf Club still on the course as dusk approached. The eerie manifestation is being blamed on construction workers employed on the Waterford City Bypass.

Older residents, who know the history of the area, claim that the wails are those of a Miss Jones whose family once owned most of the land in the Mullinabro area. “One night last week, the screeching was so terrible that my skin crawled and the hair stood on the back of my neck”, one frightened resident told The Munster Express.

According to folklore, the Jones’ only son was returning from a night’s drinking in Waterford when he attempted to get his horse to clear a locked gate onto their estate. The animal failed to make the jump and Master Jones was impaled on the gate. One of his heartbroken sisters declared that the gate should never be opened again and vowed that, if it was ever opened, her spirit would come back to haunt and torment the area.

Another local person said that, covered in grass and weeds, the cursed gate remained closed ever since until a few weeks ago when construction workers were observed preparing to bulldoze it down. When told about the legend surrounding the gate, the workers refused to carry on and moved away but, some days later, it was noticed that the gate was open and that a small area of trees, known locally as Jones’ Wood, had been levelled.

“Most people, including myself, would laugh at such stories and at the superstitious people who believe in them”, said a member of the Golf Club. But he added: “That said, after what I experienced the other night, I wouldn’t walk home from the club after dark on my own. I still don’t believe in banshees but there are some things best left alone.”