It was Sergeant Kilray of the cavan Police
Was heard to say “crime’s on the increase”
And the worst of the lot for breaking the law
Were the boys that you’ve got in Tullinahaw
Cattle they’re driving; driving terrible
Want in the whole of Ireland arable
Mischief that soon’d be irrepairable
If it’s not squinched in Tullinahaw
So Sergeant Kilray and Constable Flynn
Started away that night to begin
Bringing a taste of order and law
For man and beast in Tullinahaw

They lay by the wall and they kept wide awake
’Till they saw a man hauling a cow to the lake
‘Come, tell me now is that cow all your own?’
‘Is it me own a cow that’s all skin and bone?
Sure she belongs to Widdow Geraghty
Home I was driving her from charity’
‘Tell me’ says Flynn, with some halarity
‘Why are you coming from Tullinahaw?
And Sergeant Kilray was heard for to say
“The case is suspeecious in every way’
And Flynn said he saw a breach of the law
In driving a cow from Tullinahaw

The trial, it came on and the prisoner swore
He was doing a neighbourly act and no more,
For the cow was no use and the widow that day
She gave him a bob to take it away
‘Stop’ said the judge, ‘You’ve made no case of it
That is a lie, sir, on the face of it
Perjury too there’s every trace of it
Years they’ll miss you in Tullinahaw
And Sergeant Kilray and Constable Flynn
They made no delay in running him in
And there for a year, he sat in the straw
Lamenting the grandeurs of Tullinahaw

When they brought back the cow, says the Widda, ‘Ochone
How I wish them police would leave people alone
For if I could have proved the ould reptile was drowned
I’d have got compensation,  nine or ten pound
Instead of the money to help and further me
Here the ould beast is back to bother me
When John comes out, I know he’ll murder me
Getting him took in Tullinahaw
And Sergeant Kilray and Constable Flynn
The both of them grey and elderly men
Still tell how they brought back order and law
’Tis a different story in Tullinahaw


Tullinahaw is a townland in Altagowlan, County Roscommon.




Percy French