Boys of sweet Duagh


Oh sad mournful, is the tale that I am forced to tell
From Ballheigue to Abbeyfeale, we’ll mourn there loss as well
Where are the men who raised the flag when freedom’s sword did draw
Who trampled down the English flag, the boys of sweet Duagh

When Kerryman from far and near attended the Brosna raid
They were the first to appear and started the blockade
With motor car prepare for war with hatchet rope and saw
They first came on to lead the van, the boys of sweet Duagh

Sad was their fate I must relate, no danger did they fear
In youth and bloom they met their doom, the solderies ambush near
No friendly voice, no warning sound advised them to withdraw
The Saxon bayonets did surround our boys of sweet Duagh

Surrounded by the Khakie clan, what could our fenians do
I’m proud to say one Kerryman, from the soldiers did break through
He warned the company in the rear and told them what he saw
He saved his comrades then and the there, the boy from sweet Duagh

McMahon brave, Fitzgerald true and Relihan also
Mulcaire and Stack, brave heroes too were captured by the foe
And Jimmy Joy that noble boy who broke the English law
They died to see their country free, those boys of sweet Duagh

The car drove on, their leaders gone, what rescue could they make
The volunteers then did retreat, their hearts were fit to break
The boys were trapped the raid was stopped the forces did withdraw
’twas hard to face their native place, the boys of sweet Duagh

In Wormwood Scrubs with labour hard two years to remain
But England’s power is dead and gone, we will have them back again
God bless our men in jail within, the bravest Ireland saw
So may we see old Ireland free and the boys of sweet Duagh


Written by Thade Gowran

In the first week of June, 1920, Humphrey Murphy, Battalion o/c of Kerry No. 2 Brigade, with the help of Duagh Company, Kerry No. 1 Brigade and members of the West Limerick Brigade, decided to attack an R.I.C. barracks at Brosna in Co. Kerry. James Collins from Abbeyfeal, Co Limerick mobilised Abbeyfeale Company and companies in the West Limerick were also mobilised that same night. However, the R.I.C. got word of the impending attack and had a party of military stationed at Feale’s bridge. An advance party of the Duagh Company drove right into the military at the bridge. Six I.R.A. men in the car were arrested. Word of the arrests was sent by dispatch rider P.J. O’Neill to Mountcollins where Humphrey Murphy and the attacking party had mobilised at a creamery. The attack on the Brosna barracks was called off.


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