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GUEST,Colm McConville Help: The Flower of Magherally (25) RE: Help: The Flower of Magherally 27 Apr 21

The association with Dominick Maguire and the 1904 rendition at the Waterfoot Feis and his later 1928 more complete rendition may offer some clues the origins of this song. Dominick Maguire Jnr. was a school teacher who taught in Coleraine but who was from Ballylough Townland, Castlewellan, County Down. His birth was registered in Downpatrick in 1881. It shows that his father, also named Dominick Maguire, was a National School teacher. The 1901 census records that Dominick Snr was born in Donegal and that his daughter Margaret aged 33 was a music teacher. They were living then in Castlewellan. The parish of Magherally lies just east of Banbridge and some 15 miles NW of Castlewellan. Magherally is one of 10 townlands within the parish of Magherally itself so we cannot be clear if the song refers to the townland or to the parish of Magherally. My guess is that the song refers to the parish since it would be a greater compliment to the lady to whom the song is dedicated. At the time of the 1904 rendition, Dominick Jnr. would have been 23 and perhaps starting his teaching career in Coleraine, not too far distant from Waterfoot. He may have heard the song during his youth in Castlewellan but had an incomplete memory of it in 1904. In subsequent years, perhaps through contact with his father, Dominick Snr., or other members of the family, he was able to learn the fuller version of the song attributed to him in 1928. It remains a possibility that the song was penned by his father, Dominick Snr. who died in 1913 in Ardglass, County Down, aged 74. That would indicate that Dominick Senior was born in 1839. If Dominick Senior was the author of the song, then it might date it to around the 1860s or 1870s. If Margaret Maguire, born 1868, was the author, then it might date the song to the 1880s or 1890s.

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