The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #151940   Message #3551522
Posted By: GUEST,henryp
21-Aug-13 - 04:21 PM
Thread Name: Linen Industry Songs
Subject: RE: Linen Industry Songs
The Hackler from Grouse Hall

This song is from Colm O'Lochlainn's "Irish Street Ballads".

I am a roving hackler lad that loves the shamrock shore
My name is Pat McDonnell and me age is eighty-four
Belov'd and well-respected by my neighbours one and all
On St. Patrick's Day I love to stray round Lavey and Grouse Hall

From Wikipedia; The Hackler from Grouse Hall is a song from the Sliabh Guaire area of Cavan, Ireland about an overzealous R.I.C. sergeant who pursued an aging hackler with a fondness for Poitín.

The song was written in the late 1880s by a local man, Peter Smith, from Stravicnabo, Lavey. An aging hackler, Pat McDonald, "Paddy Jack" was pursued and arrested by a sergeant who had come to Grouse Hall. The hackler may have been Pat McDonald who died, aged 83, at his son's farm in Claragh, Cootehill in 1896.[2]

Hackling, of which McDonald was a roving practitioner, was the final process in preparing flax for spinning into linen. Prior to the industry becoming mechanised and moving to East Ulster it was a rural based cottage industry with Cootehill as Ulster's largest market.

The sergeant was James Mullervy, born in Derawaley, Drumlish, Longford who joined the R.I.C. (Royal Irish Constabulary) in 1872 and was appointed sergeant in Grouse Hall in 1887.[3] He retired in 1898 and returned to Derawaley where he married, raised a family and where his descendents live today.