The Witch Of Ballyyahoo

Another Little Story From Ballyyahoo

Gerry lives in a tiny Irish town called Ballyyahoo. Despite the fact that he lives in the best most magical town in Ireland Gerry’s bored. He’s so bored he just spends most of his time swinging on a gate.

As you can imagine, his mother is fed up with him hanging around on the gate. She says he should get a hobby – like Judo, or knitting, bog-snorkelling, fishing, anything at all, but Gerry’s too bored to bother. 

Still, when Gerry hears the rumour of the Witch of Ballyyahoo, he can’t help but start to wonder. Could it really be just a rumour? Or could the rumour be true? Gerry hopes it’s true. If there’s one thing that would make him climb off that gate and do something different for a change it would be the idea that there might be a witch on the loose in Ballyyahoo.

Some of Ballyahooians claim they see a witch’s shadow in and around the lanes, bogs and beaches of Ballyyahoo. But just because you see a shadow of a witch doesn’t mean you see a witch; not a real witch. You see Ballyyahooians like making up stories – making up stories is great if you’re bored.

Most Ballyyahooians are of the opinion that you shouldn’t spoil a decent rumour with the boring old truth, but Gerry begins to see some very peculiar events in the little lanes of Ballyyahoo.

Then he finds a magic stone, a special Irish magic stone with holes in. Soon he makes another discovery. You can see things in the hole in the stone!  But the things Gerry sees in the stone make his bones shake in terror.

Something’s terrible is going to happen in Ballyyahoo and Gerry’s the only one who can stop it. If anyone needed help from a witch it’s Gerry but is there really a witch in Ballyyahoo? 


‘Nothing ever happens in Ballyyahoo – at least that’s what Gerry thinks as he swings on his garden gate and wonders how to stop being bored. But when he finds a stone with a hole in the centre things change very quickly. What he sees in the stone frightens him – it’s the future and a terrible crime will be committed if it happens. But will anyone believe he can see the future in a stone? No, they won’t – but help comes from a most unexpected quarter – the witch of Ballyyahoo. Until then Gerry always believed she was just a rumour. But not only does she exist, she wants him to train as her intern. Suddenly the future looks brighter in Ballyyahoo and Gerry knows he won’t have much time left over for gate swinging.
As always, Grace Jolliffe, with her quirky sense of humour, introduces us to the whacky set of characters who inhabit Ballyyahoo. Anyone who believes witches ride broomsticks and boil toads in a cauldron should read The Witch of Ballyhoo and meet a real live witch whose travels everywhere on the back of her hoover and is determined to keep the people in her village safe from harm. ‘ June Considine

‘The City of, well town really, of Ballyyahoo, Ireland is a dull place. Nothing happens here expect the occasional rumor – which, while entertaining, are just rumors. Or so Gerry thinks. One day, the rumor mill churns up a new one, craic (beautiful word, no? Means gossip in Ireland) that trumps all talk of serial killers or banshees that have preceded it. A Witch is supposedly in Ballyyahoo. This is just the sort of gossip that intrigues a young boy and can capture the imagination.
It gets better when Gerry and his cousin, Kevin, run across Lucy, the town blogger, stalking local resident, Biddy. Soon things become very interesting for Gerry. Nothing will ever be the same for this once bored young man, and he couldn’t be happier for it!
Humorous and quick, this short story reads through the mind and eye of Gerry. He is talking to us, inviting us to explore these moments with him in a way only the young can do. Inventive and clever, I can’t wait to see what Gerry is going to get into next’ Heather Gately

‘Set in the fictional Irish village of Ballyyahoo, this is a charming children’s story that’s just perfect for Halloween. Gerry thinks that living in Ballyyahoo is boring, but that’s just about to change. Swinging on a gate and watching the world go by allows you to observe all sorts of goings on, and the furtive behaviour of his friend, Lucy, and the odd old lady, Biddy, soon catch his eye. With his friend, Kevin, Gerry decides to follow them, and the pair soon get swept along in an adventure of magic, witches, and burglars. ‘Ali Isaac

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