The bar at the Horse & Jockey Hotel
The old folklore story tells you about the headless horseman but nobody actually knew where it originated from. Sitting beside the fire here at the Horse & Jockey hotel I am told otherwise as to where the headless horseman story originated from.
The dullahan or dulchan means dark man in the Irish language and long before Sleepy Hollow and there was the story of the headless horseman here at the Horse & Jockey.
Traditional folklore holds that the Horseman was killed during the Desmond Rebellions, which occurred in the 1560s, 1570s and 1580s in Munster. He was decapitated and the shattered remains of his head were left on the battlefield while his comrades hastily carried his body away. Eventually they buried him at Holy Cross Abbey not far from the Horse & Jockey hotel in Tipperary. However, it was told that every Halloween he rises as a malevolent ghost, furiously seeking his lost head. They say if you stay awake late on Halloween you might see him in the middle of the night riding through the village, the dulluhan or the headless horseman.
Some say that the local folk may have had one too many on their walk home with confirmation over generations that in fact the headless horseman does pass through the Horse & Jockey on October 31. But it remains gospel to this current day that the headless horseman is actually originally an Irish folk story.
My source claims they have seen the headless horseman themselves and that generations in their family gone before us have too. And I ask, is it only certain people who get to see this headless horseman? My source replies, “Only those eager enough to see him”.
So if you are in the Horse & Jockey hotel this Halloween, maybe have a look for the headless horseman on October 31, ask some locals for tips and remember you have to keep your wits about you.