Woods Of Drumboe


Twas the eve of St.Patrick, at the dawn of the day
The hills of Tir Connell, lay slumbering and gray
The first light of morning illumined the sky
As four Irish soldiers were led forth to die

They were Enright, O’Sullivan and Daly by name
And up from the county of Kerry they came.
While the gallant Stan Larkin from the banks of the Roe
Completes the four martyrs shot dead at Drumboe

These four Irish soldiers were dragged from their cell
For months they had suffered the torments of hell
No mercy they asked from their merciless foe
And no mercy was shown by the thugs at Drumboe

Three left their homesteads in Kerry’s green vale
And one came from Derry to fight for the Gael
But instead of true friends they met traitor and foe
And uncoffined were laid in the woods of Drumboe

The church bells rang out in the cool morning air
To summon the faithful to penance and prayer
When a shot from the wild wood brought terror and woe
‘Twas the death knell of Dawly, shot dead at Drumboe

Let Tir Connell ne’er boast of her honour and fame
All the waters of Finn could not wash out the stain
While the Foyle and the Swilly continue to flow
The stain will remain on the woods of Drumboe


This song, set at Drumboe at Stranorlar, Co Donegal was written by Michael McGinley. It tells of four anti-treaty soldiers executed by firing squad on 14th March 1923 during the civil war.

Song Clip



Song Themes

Civil War