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Dúchas Schools Collection - Cavan


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The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0966,

The Tossing of Swanlinbar Chapel

The story on this page has been taken from the Dúchas web site, page pages following. An image of the original manuscript can be viewed on the Dúchas page as well as more detailed information about the informant and recorder of the story.
The numbers on the left are original page numbers and are for researchers wishing to find the original page.

Copyright and licence information appears at the bottom of this page.

Page 263
You brilliant muse I pray
excuse me for my intrusion on learning's wing,
Inspire my genius you bards and
sages, my country's praises
I mean to sing,

P 264
Tradition mentions without contradiction our blessed St Patrick was first sent o'er,
By Pope Celestine to bless a vineyard called Inishowen or the virgin shore,
Like blessed St. Peter when his master told him to herd his flocks and his lambs to keep.
He searched the mountains the dells and desert to bring together the straying sheep.
He concentrated three hundred bishops, drove snakes and serpents from our sainted Isle,
And told our people our church would suffer much persecution till the end of time.
It came to pass as the Saint predicted For Satan's poweras we are told,
Is yet as strong as when he tempted Judas to sell our Saviour for the love of gold.
The fallen angels are yet impatient, they were driven from Heaven for creating war,

P 265
And tempted lately a wealthy bailiff to seize our chapel in Swanlinbar. Had you been there on that Friday morning on the 12th of August and the night before,
When Grania's sons they were all assembled from Lisnaska to Ballinamore. Prepare, my boys at a moments warning, let you be guided by the morning star,
Now is the time to repulse the stranger and save our chapel in Swanlinbar, From Leitrims's Mountains they came in thousands, from Cavan's hills and Fermanagh gay, Where are the off-spring of
Martin Luther who dare oppose us or our church to-day, When those heroes were all assembled and arranged in order by sept and clan, I heard one chieftain say to another , where are our brothers

P 266
from faithful Glan, On Montiagh braves, have you been divided, you once wore laurels but now our slaves, Your fathers once around the hills of Macken would lose their lives or the chapel save,
We had valiant heroes from famed Drumreilly, Drumlea, Knockninny and Templeport, With our warlike chieftain from Aughacashel and our Leitrim pikemen to head the sport.
The Swanlinbar boys were all determined to crush the tyrant and make him yield, Their shouts re-echoed in the heavenly regions as they manoeuvered through Curry's field,
I'll drop my pen as this case is settled, so fill your glasses with rum and gin, And drink a health to the brave McGoverns, the noble Maguires and Benneson, We will leave our case to these men of honour who

P 267

were never guilty of crime or wrong. And the Ballinamore boys. Shall not be forgotten no lie to call them old Grania's sons.

Collector or recorder details not given.



Thanks to Bernadette McGovern who transcribed this and a great many other pages of the The Schools' Collection, from the National Folklore Collection Archives.

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