O'Kearney, a Louthman, deeply versed in Irish lore, writes of the gean-cānach (love-talker) that he is "another diminutive being of the same tribe as the Lepracaun, but, unlike him, he personated love and idleness, and always appeared with a dudeen in his jaw in lonesome valleys, and it was his custom to make love to shepherdesses and milkmaids. It was considered very unlucky to meet him, and whoever was known to have ruined his fortune by devotion to the fair sex was said to have met a gean-cānach. The dudeen, or ancient Irish tobacco
pipe, found in our raths, etc., is still popularly called a gean-cānach's pipe."
The word is not to be found in dictionaries, nor does this spirit appear to be well known, if known at all, in Connacht. The word is pronounced gánconâgh.
In the MS. marked R.I.A. 23/E. 13, in the Roy' Ir. Ac., there is a long poem describing such a fairy hurling-match as the one in the story, only the fairies described as the shiagh, or host, wore plaids and bonnets, like Highlanders. After the hurling the fairies have a hunt, in which the poet takes part, and they swept with great rapidity through half Ireland. The poem ends with the line-
"'S gur shiubhail me na cûig cúig cûige's gan fúm acht buachallân buidhe",
[paragraph continues] "and I had travelled the five provinces with nothing under me but a yellow bohalawn (rag-weed)". [Note by Mr. Douglas Hyde.]