Slopes of Selton Hill


On history’s page with pride we read of Leitrim’s fighting tale
Her manhood bold ‘neath the green and gold did die for Gráinne Mhaol
But the boys who fought the black and tans and freedom’s cup did fill
Were our noble sons who faced the guns ‘neath the slopes of Selton Hill

The chill March wind, it was unkind as the column pushed along
On an early dawn in twenty-one when the fight was raging strong
Mid Gorvaghy hills, they stood to rest where their plans soon came to nil
For true ‘tis said, they were betrayed beneath the slope of Selton Hill

‘tis five ‘o clock and the English guns have pinned them to the ground
Behind the house that sheltered them, Sean Connolly looks around
They’re closing in around us boys, break through this ring of steel
But some of us will fall today beneath the slopes of Selton Hill

With rifles raised, O’Reilly blazed, Jack Hunt was by their side
And Seamus Wrynn strode mid the din to stem the battle tide
But from the lane, the bullets’ rain did Baxter’s life-blood spill
Ere the night wind sighed, Joe Beirne died beneath the slopes of Selton Hill

As the stars grew bright on that cold March night, the gallant Sweeney rose
And McPartland too had broken through from the death-grip of his foes
While far away McDermott prayed and Guckian wept his fill
For their comrades brave who died that day beneath the slopes of Selton Hill


The Selton Hill ambush took place on 11 March 1921 during the War of Independence.
Sean Connolly from County Longford was, under the direction of Michael Collins, running army training in early 1921, The RIC District Inspector was alerted to the location of Connolly’s training camp by a local doctor who had served in the British Army. The doctor had been told of the training camp by a local member of the Orange Order. On 11 March, a large force of RIC and Auxiliaries attacked the camp at Selton Hill. A total of six volunteers were killed. When the IRA identified the informers, the Orangeman was executed, but the doctor escaped to England where he died in an accident.

Song Clip