Clonmel Gaol


O, it’s one year tomorrow my home I deserted
And went to Ard Pádraig, my hat done in laces
The Whiteboys were there tormenting the cattle
Now I’m grieving and lonely in the jail of Clonmel

My bridle and saddle are loaned out a long time
My hurley is slanted in under my bed
My ball hit about by the boys of the valley
I who’d hit a goal-puck as high as the next

Kerrymen, pray for me, I love your soft voices
Nor thought I would never return to you living
But our three heads will soon be on spikes for a show
In the snows of the night and all weathers that come

If you go to Uibh Ráthach, take the news to my people
I’m condemned on this sod and won’t live beyond Friday
Get the things for my wake and a fine coffin round me
Here’s an end of Ó Dónaill and pray for him always.


Just who is “Ó Dónaill”, I can’t ascertain. It’s clear he was one of the 150 suspected Whiteboys arrested in Clogheen with local parish priest, Fr. Nicholas Sheehy, who had spoken out against tithes and collected funds for the defence of parishioners charged with rioting. Fr. Sheehy was found guilty on a fabricated murder charge and was hanged, drawn and quartered in Clonmel in March 1766.

Song Clip



Song Themes

White Boys