Ballyconnell Fair


Two brothers bold called Mick and Pat who lived near Derrylin
They had a darlin’ springing cow that they called Mary Jane
But hay was scarce and cash was scarce and both their suits threadbare
So Mary Jane, she had to go to Ballyconnell fair

The morning of the fair arrived – a shocking fog and mist
Came rolling down the hills of Doon, you couldn’t see your fist
Says Pat to Mick, “You walk in front, and I’ll bring up the rear
With Mary Jane between us both, to Ballyconnell fair”

At Gortaree now Mary Jane, she played an awful trick
She slipped into a by-road there unknown to Pat and Mick
She ate a feed from Drumm’s haystack and then she made her lair
While Pat and Mick they welted on to Ballyconnell fair

They reached the Green at half-past eight approaching daylight
The fog had lifted all at once the drovers hove in sight
Says Pat to Mick, “Where’s Mary Jane, I can’t see her no where?
By the Holy Lord, it was me you drove to Ballyconnell fair”

Now both men’s dead, God rest their souls, but still the story’s told
Around the fires in Derrylin, enjoyed by young and old
And children ask when going to bed, and dashing up the stair
“Was it Pat drove Mick, or Mick drove Pat to Ballyconnell fair?”


The name Ballyconnell derives from ‘Bél Átha Conaill’ or ‘The entrance to Conall’s Ford’. The ford was a shallow crossing over the River Grainne and was the ancient border crossing between Ulster and Connacht. Conall was the great Ulster Hero and Red Branch knight Conall Cernach, who was killed at Ballyconnell by the three Ruadhcoin sent by Queen Maeve of Connacht to avenge the slaying of her husband Ailill by Conall.

Ballyconnell is on the Shannon–Erne Waterway, a 63 km canal linking the River Shannon in the Republic of Ireland with the River Erne in Northern Ireland.

Written by Sandy McConnell of Bellanaleck, Co Fermanagh in the early 1960′ the air of ‘Let Mr.Maguire sit down’.



Ballyconnell lock

Canal lock at Ballyconnell

Song Clip