|St. Nicholas Church - Where hand was severed|
THE STORY BEHIND THE GHOSTLY HAND - As with the British, the Irish are not to be outdone with their gruesome urban legends. In St. Nicholas' Collegiate Church lie the remains of John Bodkins, the last Catholic Warden. Legend has it that before his death, Bodkins decreed that his right arm would not decay until the keys to the church were returned to the catholic diocese.
THE CORPSE UNEARTHED - Sometime in the early 19th century the body of the last Catholic warden of St. Nicholas' Collegiate Church was dug up during renovations of the church. The 100 year old corpse of the Warden had been uncovered and was found to be uncorrupted; causing immense excitement amongst the Catholics of Galway.
CUTTING OFF THE HAND - A family of butchers (who were Protestants) who ran the butcher shop located just outside the walls of the church at the head Bowling Green Street broke into the warden's grave. They were so offended by the presence of the Catholic man in the now Protestant church, and resentful of the attention caused by the uncorrupted state of the corpse, hat they cut off the corpse's arm and ground it up - thereby ensuring that catholicism would not return to Ireland.
Another version of the story is that the stolen hand was later found discarded in a field in the western suburbs of the town where St. Mary's College now stands.That's where the hand "makes the rounds."
LEGEND OF THE GHOSTLY RED HAND - Junior boarders of nearby Saint Mary's College lived in fear of the annual appearance of the Red Hand. Junior Dormitory was in the old college chapel which was known to be haunted by a questing severed hand.
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