The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #30464   Message #392173
Posted By: Big Tim
07-Feb-01 - 11:44 AM
Thread Name: Tune Req: The Woods Of Drumbo
Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Woods Of Drumbo
Drumbo in County Down (no "E" - my mistype last time) means "ridge of the cow". Drumboe at Stranorlar (emphasise the "or") is a Townland name and appears only on OS maps. The site is signposted "Drumboe Martyrs Site 1923" in Stranorlar. I visited it recently. A Celtic cross marks the execution spot, inscribed,

"In proud and glorious memory of the Drumboe martyrs Comdt. Gen. Charles Daly, Brig.-Comdt. Sean Larkin, Lieut. Daniel Enright and Lieut. Timothy O'Sullivan Who gave their lives in the defense of the Irish Republic At this spot on the 14th March 1923"

The men were buried at the site but reinterred in August 1924 close to their respective homes. The song is accurate about their geographical origins, Sean Larkin was from Magherafelt in County Derry and the other three were from County Kerry. My recording of the song is by a band called "Wolfhound" on a double CD "50 Complete Irish Rebel Ballads Volume I". On Derry Records IRBI798CD, 1998. It's a moot point whether this can be truly called a rebel song as the executions occurred during the Civil War, four of eighty-one. Although O'Lochlainn's version contains three factual errors it's thanks to him that the song and the memory of four fanatical but very brave victims of Irish history have survived. The men's letters in the days and hours before the executions make heartrending reading.