The Drumboe Martyrs

The Irish Brigade
Language: English

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During the Civil War 77 men were executed by former comrades. This song, The Drumboe Martyrs, relates to four of them.
Together with six other men Charlie Daly, Sean Larkin, Timothy O'Sullivan and Daniel Enright formed an unit of Republicans in County Donegal. Initially they manage to hold up against the Free State forces, but soon the Republicans were forced to withdraw and hide in the mountains. Following a tip from an informer Free Staters found them and on 2 November 1922 the ten were arrested and transferred to Drumboe Castle. In January the three Kerrymen Charlie Daly, Timothy O'Sullivan and Daniel Enright, and Sean Larkin from Derry, were sentenced to death by firing squad. The sentence was carried out on 14 March 1923, thus not on the feast of Saint Patrick as mentioned in the text, on an improvised firing range and their bodies were buried at Drumboe.
The remains of the Drumboe Martyrs were secretly exhumed and transferred to the Athlone Military Barracks in August or September 1924. In the following months the bodies of all 77 executed men were handed over to the families for proper burial.
'Twas the feast of Saint Patrick
By the dawn of the day;
The hills of Tirconnaill
Stood sombre and grey;
When the first light of morning
Illumined the sky,
Four brave Irish soldiers
Were led forth to die.

Three left their loved homes
In Kerry's green vales,
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.

Four Republican soldiers
Were dragged from their cells
Where for months they had suffered
Wild torments like hell's.
No mercy they asked
From their pitiless foe
And no mercy was shown
by the thugs at Drumboe.

The church bells rang out
In the clear morning air
To summon the faithful
To penance and prayer,
When a crash from the woodlands
Struck terror and woe
'Twas the death knell of Daly
Shot dead at Drumboe.

Let Tirconaill ne'er boast
Of her honour and fame;
All the waters of Finn Could not wash out her shame;
While the Finn and the Swilly
Continue to flow,
That stain will remain on
The woods of Drumboe.

Contributed by DonQuijote82 - 2011/4/9 - 11:51

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