Some 'croakers' are grumbling, as usual. If
Brookes [English champion]came over and did his 6feet 2inches, how
would the game stand then?
How indeed; but it would be
merely a loss of time and temper on our part to argue with those
kind of persons, who are never without an if and a
but, whenever it happens that a fellow townsman comes to the
front. Patrick Davin, the youngest, and as we have
before suggested, the 'future man', is quite young, this being his
'maiden' appearance on the sward. From his score it will be at
once evident that he has begun both wisely and well.
In the hundred yards the Irish champion Ogilby wrested a hard won
victory from his British competitors. In the high jump the
brothers Davin [Tom and Maurice] were equally successful, securing a
twin victory over their English rivals. In putting the 40lb Mr
M Davin secured another Irish victory by the narrow margin of a
couple of inches, and in throwing the hammer he was equally
Telegrams having been received late on Monday afternoon heralding
success to the Carrick men, bonfires and tar barrels became at once
the ordre du jour. The local band paraded the streets
on both nights after 10 o'clock, adding to the excitement of the
hour. The Messrs Davin are worthy of all the honour paid them
and we are more than well pleased to see men's achievements reckoned
at their proper worth.
Sean Kelly - International Cycling
Sean Kelly was consistently one of the top achievers in
professional cycling for over 18 years. With his 22 Classic wins he
is statistically the fourth most successful professional cyclist of
all time behind Eddy Merckx (50), Bernard Hinault (29) and Jacques
Born on May 24, 1956, Sean Kelly was the
dominant classics rider in the 1980’s. Kelly began his professional
career in 1977. He won almost every important race on the calendar
except the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia, and the World
Championship Road Race. Kelly did win a Grand Tour, the
Vuelta a Espana in 1988 plus the points jersey competition four
times both in the Tour de France and in the Vuelta a Espana. He won
four out of five of cycling’s monuments for a total of nine
victories in those races. Of the monuments, he won the
Paris-Roubaix, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Milan-San Remo all twice, and
the Tour of Lombardy three times.
He also won the
Paris-Tours and the Ghent Wevelgem. In the World Championship Road
Race, he placed third twice and fifth three times. He was another
complete rider who could sprint, time-trial and climb with the best,
although he did have trouble in the heat and on the major climbs in
the Tour de France. He was a rider’s rider, a professional’s
professional. His record in the Tour de France of fifteen starts and
twelve finishes attests to this. He raced hard during entire racing
calendar. In addition to his record in the CyclingHallofFame.com
designated races, he also won the Paris-Nice a record seven times
and the Tour of Switzerland twice. Sean Kelly retired from
professional competition in 1994.
Brother's - World Renowned Irish Musicians
(b. 1923, Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Waterford, Eire, d. 7 November 1990,
Cork, Eire), Paddy (b. 1922, d. 10 November 1998, Carrick-on-Suir,
Co. Waterford, Eire) and Liam Clancy (b. 1936) were among the
founders of the New York folk revival during the 50s. From a musical
family, Tom and Paddy left for Canada in 1947, but soon crossed
(illegally) over the American border.
Tom enjoyed success as
an actor, playing on Broadway with Orson Welles (King Lear) and
Helen Hayes (Touch Of The Poet), while together the brothers staged
Irish plays at the Cherry Lane Theatre in Greenwich Village. With
money scarce they began performing concerts, and were soon
attracting a bigger following for their music rather than their
plays. Paddy was soon assisting the Folkways and Elektra labels in
recording Irish material and in 1956 he set up his own small label,
Tradition Records. This released material by Josh White and Odetta.
By now, the younger brother Liam had also moved to America, and was
collecting songs in the Appalachian mountains.
whistle player Tommy Makem (b. 1932, Keady, Co. Armagh, Northern
Ireland) to move to New York. In the late 50s, the quartet began to
perform in clubs and at hootenannies, eventually recording
collections of Irish material in 1959. Among them were many,
including "Jug Of Punch" and "The Leaving Of Liverpool", that became
widely sung in folk clubs on both sides of the Atlantic.
Clancys attracted a large following with their boisterous approach
and gained national prominence through an appearance on Ed
Sullivan's television show. The group recorded frequently for
Columbia Records throughout the 60s. Their sister, Peg Clancy Power
made a solo album of Irish songs in the late 60s. Makem left to
follow a solo career in 1969, later recording with producer Donal
Lunny for Polydor Records in Ireland. The Clancys continued to make
occasional appearances, notably their annual St. Patrick's Day
concerts in New York.
Louis Killen (b. January 1934,
Gateshead, Co. Durham, England), a traditional singer from
north-east England joined for a 1973 record of Greatest Hits on
Vanguard Records. Although Liam left in 1975, there were other
albums for Warner Brothers Records in the 70s and the original group
re-formed for a 1984 concert and album.
Although Tom Clancy
died in November 1990, the remaining brothers continued to perform
together occasionally in the early 90s, appearing in October 1992 at
Bob Dylan's 30th Anniversary Concert at Madison Square Garden. Paddy
Clancy died of cancer in November 1998, having worked as a dairy
farmer since the group's partial retirement in the 60s.
Taken From the Encyclopedia of Popular Music - Muze UK Ltd.
1989 - 2002
The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem were the
seminal Irish Ballad group and their influence has been central to
the folk revival, in both Irish and American contexts, and the huge
revival of interest in and performance of traditional Irish music
throughout the world
The group comprised of Paddy (1922-98),
Tom (1923-90) and Liam Clancy, three of nine children, from
Carrick-on Suir, Co. Tipperary and Tommy Makem of Keady, Co. Armagh.
After a spell in the RAF during the Second World War, Pat and Tom
emigrated to America in 1948, working first in Cleveland and
eventually settling in New York. They worked at various jobs, always
aspiring to be actors, eventually producing and acting in a very
successful productions of "Othello" and of Sean O'Casey's The Plough
and the Stars. Other plays were not quite as successful and in order
to pay the theatre rent, they decided to put on midnight concerts in
the Cherry Lane Theatre. Folk music interest was emerging and people
who are now legendary, Pete Seeger, Burl Ives, Jean Ritchie, Jack
Elliott, Theo Bikel and Bob Dylan took part. Paddy and Tom also
performed. Later, they teamed up with Lou Gordon to do a "Swopping
Song Fair" at the Sheridan Square Theatre. These performances
encouraged them to develop their Irish song repertoire and the
popularity of the Irish songs gave Paddy the idea of putting out an
LP on his own label, which he formed in l956 and called Tradition
Liam Clancy and Tommy Makem, met in Ireland while working with
Diane Hamilton who came to Ireland to collect traditional songs,
both emigrated to the United States in 1955. They became involved in
acting but discovered they could make a better living singing at
clubs. Paddy and Tom joined in whenever they could and the group,
while not yet classed as a group, began to build popularity.
The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem first were
billed as such in 1956 when they performed at the Gate of Horn Club
in Chicago and they became more widely known performing at
fund-raising concerts for the Cherry Lane Theatre and at the Woodie
Guthrie benefits. They first recorded in 1959, producing their LP
"The Rising of the Moon" on Pat's Tradition Records. At this time
the band began touring in the United States, especially in Chicago
and New York and became well known for their performances in the
Village Vanguard, the Village Gate and Gerde’s Folk City. At a very
elegant uptown club, The Blue Angel, they were spotted for their
first major exposure to a large American audience which came when
they first appeared on the Ed Sullivan show in 1961 and it lead to
widespread acclaim all over the United States.
from From the Paddy Clancy Memorial Scholarship Fund
The Rising Of The
Moon (Tradition 1959),
Come Fill Your Glass With Us (Tradition
The Clancy Brothers And Tommy Makem (Tradition
A Spontaneous Performance Recording (Columbia 1961),
The Boys Won't Leave The Girls Alone (Columbia 1962),
Person At Carnegie Hall (Columbia 1964),
Isn't It Grand Boys
The Irish Uprising (Columbia 1966),
Freedom's Son's (Columbia 1967),
Home Boys Home (Columbia
Sing Of The Sea (Columbia 1968),
Bold Fenian Men
Seriously Speaking (Warners 1975),
Day (Warners 1976),
Reunion (Vanguard 1984),
Older But No
Wiser (Vanguard 1990),
In Concert (Vanguard
Ain't It Grand Boys: Unissued Gems
The Best Of The Vanguard Years
The Essential Collection (Fuel 2000
Mike Lynch - First Software
Extracts From: Sunday Business
Post, Sunday, April 29,
Born in Carrick-on-Suir Lynch is the founder, chairman and
chief executive of Autonomy Software, He owns 19 per cent of
Autonomy, which was at one point valued at $5.2 billion.
story about scientist and technology entrepreneur Mike Lynch
starting his first company with a stg£2,000 loan from a rock band
manager he met in a pub has often been repeated. It says a lot about
Lynch, the risk-taking scientist who, 10 years ago, had enough faith
in his research to borrow from an unknown business angel.
Lynch used the money to set up his first company, Neurodynamics.
Ten years later, Lynch's main business interest, the Neurodynamics
spin-off, Autonomy, is listed on three international markets and has
annual revenues of around stg£60 million. Lynch founded Autonomy in
1996 with $15 million in funding from heavy-hitting investors
including Apax Venture Capital, Durlacher and the English National
Investment Company (ENIC).
"At that time, that kind of money
for a British startup was almost unheard of," said a banker involved
in Autonomy's initial public offering (IPO) on the European
exchange, the Easdaq, in July 1998.
capitalised the company at $165 million, and its shares rose quickly
from $15 in October 1999 to $120 in March 2000. This valued the
company at over $5 billion and made Lynch Britain's first internet
billionaire. The British press took to calling him the
'billion-dollar brain' and he basked in the publicity.
The share price high and rising US sales led to a second
flotation on the Nasdaq last May and a follow-up flotation on the
London Stock Exchange in November. Along the way Lynch picked up the
1999 Entrepreneur of the Year award from the Confederation of
British Industry, and Technology Pioneer Award at the World Economic
Forum last year.
The rapid growth of Autonomy, which has
enjoyed quarterly compound sales growth of more than 50 per cent,
has boosted international demand for Lynch as a conference speaker.
Industry magazines profile him alongside household technology names,
such as Bill Gates and Larry Ellison.
Lynch's extraordinary journey started when an acquaintance set up
a pub meeting with the business angel, whose £2,000 allowed
Neurodynamics to be set up in the back room of a college house. The
company initially specialised in pattern-recognition technology,
such as the identification of fingerprints and handwriting, and sold
its products to police forces.
Its first design, a machine to match fingerprints, was used to
solve murders from years earlier and the firm thrived. However,
Lynch was already thinking of bigger things. "We had an immediate
need to generate money, so we did work that paid, while getting on
with the research the rest of the time." The research, again based
on Bayes' theorems, led to the creation of Autonomy, which was spun
out of Neurodynamics in 1996.
The company developed software that used Bayes' probability
theories to plough through text in search of concepts instead of
keywords. It was perfectly placed to take advantage of the
opportunities created by the internet as the software could organise
information, categorise e-mails and create links between related
articles on websites.
The Butlers of Ormonde
Thomas Butler, 7th Earl of Ormond (d. 1515), was grandfather to
Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII, who, although she lost her
head, provided him with the daughter who was to become Queen
Elizabeth I. This fearsome queen features in voluminous Butler
Her cousin, the 10th Earl of Ormond, Thomas Butler (d. 1614), who
had been reared at the English court, built a magnificent Tudor
manor at Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary, expecting her to visit
him, which she failed to do. Lord Dunboyne, the present Butler
family historian, writes in his Butler Family History: "The Butlers
bred like rabbits immune from myxomatosis".
Black Tom, as the 10th Earl of Ormond was nicknamed, was a prime
example. Three times married, he had, apart from his legal
offspring, twelve known illegitimate children. One of his natural
sons who received considerable estates from his father, Piers
Fitzthomas Butler, according to a strong local tradition, was the
fruit of Thomas' affection for the Virgin Queen!
Carrick in 1462 - Taken from the Cronicles of Mr Cliffe an
associate of Cromwell
"The Lancastrians have very little support in Ireland apart
from the Butlers. Sir John Butler, 6th Earl of Ormond, arrives in
Ireland with 'a great multitude of Englishmen'; they take and
destroy Waterford city, but are defeated by Thomas FitzGerald, son
of the earl of Desmond, at Pilltown, near Carrick-on-Suir.
George, duke of Clarence (Edward IV's brother) is appointed
lieutenant for seven years from 6 March. He is 12 years old.In
November, 1649, the Irish under Inchiquin laid siege to
Carrick-on-Suir, then held by Commissary-General John Reynolds, and
used to cry at the walls to the besieged that they would soon give
them "Tredagh (i.e. Drogheda) Quarter."
Lord Leonard Grey, in the time of Henry VIII, having taken
Maynooth Castle, which surrendered in hope of pardon, he hanged the
whole garrison. Hence, the Irish saying, "the pardon of Minooth".
Dismal Effects of the Irish Insurrection, to which are added Letters
from Oliver Cromwell, Ireton, Preston, and many others, relating to
the sieges, battles, and remarkable passages in the following
history, never before printed."
An account of the Butlers History:
"Black Tom". Chief Butler of Ireland. 3° Earl of Ossory.
In 1543, James Butler, 9th Earl of
Ormond, had requested Henry VIII to grant a place at
court to his heir Thomas, whom he despatched to court the next year.
Already at court were two of Thomas’ first cousins, Lady
Elizabeth Fitzgerald, daughter of the 9th Earl
of Kildare – immortalised by the poet Thomas
Surrey as ‘The Fair Geraldine’ – and Barnaby
Fitzpatrick, son of the baron of Upper Ossory.
Thomas and Barnaby joined group of ten or twelve noble youths
whom Henry VIII had selected to be educated with his son
Edward. While most of
the other pupils changed in the course of the years, the two cousins
remained until the school group was formally disbanded in autumn
1552, five years after Edward had come to the throne. Upon the
accession of Edward VI, Thomas was made a Knight of the
Garter.Ormond actually participated in the Christmas festivities
that year disguised as an ‘Almain’, or German. By 1552 Thomas
had reached his majority and succeeded to earldom of Ormond, his
father having died of food poisoning in London in 1546.
When Edward VI died in Jul 1553, his catholic sister
Mary came to the throne, and Ormond appears to have had no
difficulty in accommodating himself to the changed regime. Mary
retained the Earl at court for a further year, allowing him to
return to Ireland in Oct 1554, along with Barnaby
Fitzpatrick and Gerald Fitzgerald, 11th Earl of
Kildare. Throughout the rest of his long life, Ormond maintained his
family’s tradition of unswerving loyalty to the crown, spending long
periods at court, where he exploited the powerful connections his
early education had given him.
Thomas Butler lived a considerably long life for his time, and
gained a respect that no other man in Ireland would be able to
obtain. He was considered to be an honest and upstanding peer by
those in Ireland and England. Queen Elizabeth considered
him to be a good friend and companion and trusted his opinion.
Thomas made many enemies because of his honesty, candor and the fact
that the Queen favored him.
He was a great strategist who had a standing army of Scot
mercenaries called gallowglass. These incredible soldiers where
popular in Ireland and were often used like a common commodity.
Their brute strength and courageous tactics made them a formidable
enemy against the English at Cashel, and Killroe, serving
O’Neil and massacred an army of lanskanechts at the siege
of Caracfergus. The Ormondes had kept an army of these men for over
a hundred years and found them to be very useful in defending
against the gallowglass of other factions. The MacSweeneys were in
the Ormonde’s employ and cost a great deal of money to maintain. One
thing was for sure: they were worth the money as almost every
English noble that came with their armies to wipe out Irish rebels
called upon Ormonde for the support or protection of his armies.
Ormond, like his father continued to harbor aggressions with his
neighbor and fellow countryman the Earl Desmond, as part of a
hostile four-generation feud between the Geraldines (Desmond and
kin) and the Butlers (Ormond and kin). These disputes ranged from
issues of Loyalty to those of property right, boundary lines,
policy, strategy and anything else that they could use to make peace
a difficult solution. Finally in 1568, Desmond is thrown in the
tower and must stay there for six years. In 1574 he is released and
is to turn himself in to the jail in Dublin where he is allowed to
escape and turns Rebel. Thomas, however, is not too distraught over
this as he is in control of a fair amount of it in Desmond’s
Ormonde and Queen Elizabeth met in London as children;
Thomas the "son of an Irish Earl" and Elizabeth the
"illegitimate daughter of Henry" shared a common ground as
neither was well treated by the other young nobles in court. They
were related through her mother Anne Boleyn.
>Elizabeth called him her ‘black husband’. In
1588 the Queen bestowed on Ormond what an Irish poet described
as 'áirdchéim Ridireacht Gáirtéir, / ainm nár ghnáth é ar
Éirionnach' (‘the high honour of Knighthood of the Garter, a
title rare on an Irishman’).
Ormonde built a Tudor style castle (Carrick on Suir) along the
river Suir, which he decorated lavishly and even had red brick
chimneys built on, which, at the time, were very expensive. All of
this was for one reason; to provide Elizabeth with a suitable
palace at which to stay when she traveled to Ireland. Thomas lived
eleven years after Elizabeth died and during her entire reign
she never once set foot in Ireland.
Married three times, Thomas produced four children, three boys
and one girl. One boy died at birth; the other two die as young
adults and his daughter Elizabeth lived to be in her fifties. Ormond
spent most of his time in England in the presence of the Queen
and many rumors were issued as to the matter. In 1614 Thomas died in
his bed shortly after Christmas with the blue ribbon of the Order of
the Garter around his neck, as it was every night since it was given
OUTLAW OF THE COMERAGHS
By Michael Cavanagh
It was dark by the lakeside. Nothing broke the silence but the
lapping water on the rock-strewn shore. Faintly, through the
swirling mist, loomed the stark cliff, as if it would envelop the
But the man from the Spa at Clonmel was
unfrightened; for this was no new experience, and he knew well the
Comeraghs and their whispered menace. Waiting patiently until the
moon emerged from scudding clouds to send a pale gleam on the
surface of the tarn, he cast out a line. But hopes that the toilsome
ascent, and the long vigil, would be rewarded were not
Hour after hour he fished-without success. Until,
just when he had decided to abandon his fruitful endeavour, he saw
The Dark Stranger! Out of the mists he came, this
tall, dark-clothed figure, moving purposefully, his footsteps making
no sound. Without a word, he took the rod from the anglers's
trembling hand, cast out, and immediately landed.
an hour, The Dark Stranger fished on steadily -- until the angler's
bag was filled, as it had never been before, with a silver harvest.
Then, as silently as he had come, he turned, and the mist gathered
him into its grey bosom.
THE STRANGER COMES AGAIN
Twenty years or more had passed when, on just such
another misty Comeragh night, a man from the Spa cast a line on
Crotty's Lake. He was the son of the other nocturnal angler. Try how
he might, he could not lure the fish. And again there came the
Mysterious one to succeed where he had failed, then to disappear
silently into the shadowed cliffside.
When, after dawn, the angler reached home, his
widowed mother for once spoke no greeting. Instead, she lifted the
cover of his basket, peered inside, and saw the gleaming treasurer
"Ah," said she, "so you, too, met The Dark Stranger!"
Well, that's the story as I heard it. And how well
it fits into the atmosphere of that wild mountain retreat from which
for years outlaw William Crotty defied the soldiery, until a
comrad’s betrayal brought him to the gallows.
Seen on a bright summer’s day, the lakes the rocks,
and the cliffs do not frighten. But go there when "Crotty's
Pinnacle" is held in a wispy embrace; when you can hear the throaty
muttering of unseen waters, and, maybe, the shrilling of a gull;
when the dark mass of rock overhanging "Crotty's Cave" appears and
as suddenly disappears in the mists. Then you may well be forgiven
for an occasional fearful peering over your shoulder! What kind of
man was this Crotty who died on the scaffold in Waterford over two
hundred years ago? There are varying accounts, all of them coloured,
no doubt, by the writer's attitude: were they for the Government or
"agin the Gover'ment"? To the former, he was a murderous marauder;
to the latter, a gallant Rapparee, who robbed the rich and gave to
Listen to what Michael Cavanaah, a Cappoquin man
who had a remarkable career as a '48 man and a Fenian writer in
America, had to say of him--"Crotty was one of several refractory
spirits who, in the doleful times of the Penal Laws, preferred
freedom and outlawry rather than submit to the persecutors of their
Cavanagh felt that Crotty was much more defiant and
powerful than other law-breakers such as "Brennan on the Moor,"
Captain Trant, and Captain Freney, and that, unlike these, who
operated singly or with few others, he was the leader of a large
band of desperate associates.
BRAVERY OF CROTTY
Of the outlaw's personal bravery there can be no
doubt. Although known personally all over the country he never
hesitated to appear at fairs or markets, and even danced at
Patterns-this when the Redcoats were ever on his trail. He slept in
many a friendly farmhouse, but most times spent the night in a Cave
close to the edge of the Lake which bears his name.
An old-time writer who lived for some time in
Kilrossanty district, described the Cave: "The interior of this Cave
consists of line large chamber from which branch off some smaller
The same writer also said that there was another
cave at nearby Coumshingaun Lake, known as "Crotty's Stable," where
he was believed to have kept horses and cattle taken during
raids-until they could be conveniently sold.
ESCAPE OF SHERIFF HEARN
Once at Christmas time, Crotty set out to kill a
man who had so often led soldiers in pursuit of him. This was
Sub-Sherrif Hearn, who lived close by the foot of the Comeraghs.
With his pistol cocked, the outlaw peered through the parlour
window, saw his hated enemy, and carefully "covered" him. But Crotty
also saw the smiling faces of the Sheriff's wife and children, and,
to quote his own description of the scene, as related by himself to
the Sheriff, following his eventual capture: "My heart failed me,
and I could not draw the trigger.
Hastily roused while he slept one night in Norris's
house, close to his beloved Comeraghs, the outlaw grabbed at his
pistol and fired at the soldiers surrounding him without result.
This time the informer had made no mistake. He had wet the powder
and stolen his chief's dagger.
Brought to Waterford Jail under heavy escort,
Crotty was tried at the Assizes on March 8th, 1742, and sentenced to
death. He was at once taken from the Courthouse, and hanged, drawn
and quartered, his head being later spiked on the County Jail "as a
warning to evil-doers."
*The Gentleman's Magazine for 1742, under date of
Mar. 23, quotes an "Extract of a letter from Dublin" as
"On the 18th Wm. Crotty, head of a Gang of
Robbers, was condemned at Waterford, and immediately hang'd, one
man who came to life after being hang'd, and about 20 more were
RUSSELLTOWN, situated on northern border of the
County Waterford, and not too far from the village of
Four-Mile-Water, is not, to my knowledge, particularly distinguished
for anything worth recording, save that it was the birth-place of
William Crotty, the most conspicuous person of his day in his native
county, and a man whose memory is destined to be cherished by
succeeding generations of his countrymen for the heroic deeds with
which it is associated in his the district, where lake and mountain
peak perpetuate his name.
Crotty flourished about the commencement of George
the Third's reign, and was the forerunner of the Tipperary
highwaymen, Brennan and "Captain" Trant, as well as of their
Kilkenny counterpart "Captain" Freney, whose "Life and Adventures,"
as recorded in his autobiography, afforded excitable reading to at
least two generations of law-detesting Irish boys.
IN THE COMERAGHS
Crotty, however, must have been the most defiant
and powerful of those law-breakers, for while they operated singly,
or with a few temporary confederates, he was the leader of a
numerous body of desperate associates, who came and went at his
command. Moreover, his stronghold in the fastnesses of the Comeraghs
was well known to the authorities; yet he held it for years in their
despite, while, on the contrary, his later imitators were for ever
driven to seek new hiding-places.
As a matter of course, the published estimate of
Crotty's character differs diametrically from that derived from the
traditions of the people resident in the district where his
depredations were carried on. For, while his enemies, the
"conservators of law and order," branded him as a reckless,
bloodthirsty murderer and rapacious marauder, and in fine gave him
such an infamous character that, to use the expressive language of
my informant, "The devil wouldn't pick his bones," the country
people, on the other hand, assert that he never shed blood
unnecessarily, or only when defending his life and liberty, while
they aver that he habitually shared with the poor and persecuted the
spoil he had taken from the oppressive class.
In Crotty's time, the whole district between the
head waters of the Nire and Finisk, on the one side of the hills,
and the slopes extending to Glin and Gurteen on the other side, were
as thickly wooded as Ballymacarbery is now, and to one well
acquainted with the local topography, as the outlaw was, there was
many a secure retreat available
But it was not a hiding-place Crotty selected as
his headquarters, but a post of observation from which he could
command such an extensive view in every direction that it was
utterly impossible for any body of his enemies to approach
unobserved by day and it was too difficult of access for any,
strangers to reach it by night.
This desirable locality the bold freebooter found
in the immediate vicinity of a mountain take situated about one mile
to the north of Coumshingaun. "Crotty's Lake," as it is now
designated-its ancient name was Loughgorra -- is a tarn of about a
dozen acres in extent, and is formed in a depression of the
mountain's brow. In its immediate vicinity rises a very tall,
isolated, and almost perpendicular crag, which is known in the
vicinity as "Stola Crottach," or Crotty's Stool. It is also
designated Crotty's Rock on the map of the Ordnance Survey.
"THE GOATS' STREAM"
At present the most accessible way of approach to
the outlaw's domicile and watch-post is from the Bridge of
Shurnagower (Irish, Sruth na nGabhair, the Goats' Stream), at which
point the road from Duncarvan to Carrick-on-Suir is crossed by a
mountain stream formed by the junction there at of two separate
rivulets, whose course may be traced far up through the rough
Of these streams, the more western is Sruth
na,ngabhair, the other is Uisge Soluis (Water of Light), the "limpid
water"-a poetic appellation than which nothing could more
appropriately befit this clear, sparkling, flashing fairy-haunted
rill. Passing up between the two water-courses, and surmounting
knoll after knoll, the brow of the hill is at length reached, and
beneath, in a shallow depression, lies "Crotty's Lake."
Immediatelv behind "Crotty's Lake" stands the
lofty, abrupt, rocky peak, from whose summit the adventurous climber
may obtain a view extending over a great part of Waterford and into
the counties of Tipperary and Kilkenny, and even far distant
In truth it is a splendid panorama of the bandit’s
outpost offers to the admirer of the sublime and antique in nature,
and one which Salvater Rosa might delight in climbing.
Near the foot of this cloud-piercing pinnacle, on
the crag-covered base of the mountain, Crotty carved a deep
subterraneous cavern extending in a natural chamber, to which access
could only be obtained by means of a rope dropped down into the
steep and darksome aperture.
THE OUTLAW'S REFUGE
Into this fastness the outlaw never admitted any of
his confederates but there was always some appointed place of
rendezvous where he met them and directed their proceedings. His
wife alone shared the shelter of his mountain den, and kept watch on
the rock above while he slept.
But besides this cavern appropriated as a dwelling,
there is another cave, situated in the stupendous cliff of
Coumshingaun, which the people called "Crotty's Stable," from the
assertion that he utilised it as one of the out-offices for the
livestock which his band captured in the lowlands till they could be
profitably disposed of.
Still another memento of the famous outlaw, set
down in the Ordnance map as "Crotty's Rock," is an isolated knoll on
which stands three large perpendicular stones, and which is situated
a short distance to the east of the rath of Croagh, and north of the
modern church of Kilrossanty. It is to be presumed that it was one
of the outlaw's places of rendezvous, or an occasional place of
security when he ventured far from his mountain refuge.
The principal one of Crotty's lowland confederates,
and the man he most confided in, was one David Norris, but Mrs.
Crotty soon learned to distrust his professions of attachment to her
hero, whom she frequently warned to beware of trusting too far to
the smoothtongued flatterer or his wily wife.
It were well for Crotty if he heeded the devoted
creature's warning. His neglect to do so resulted in the tragic
death of both. The following verses are from the Gaelic Caoine for
William Crotty by his widow:
Oh, William Crotty, didn’t I tell
That David Norris would surround you?
He did surround
you while you where sleeping,
And left me here alone and
Ochone! Och, ochone!
He wet your powder, beside
And left you helpless in the midst of
My bitter curse fall on him and his,
you to an end like this.
As after events proved, Mrs. Crotty's
suspicions were well founded. Both Norris and his wife had been
bribed to betray the outlawed chief, and they gave constant
information of his movements to the authorities, so that it required
the greatest circumspection on his part to avoid falling a victim to
Still, there were times when, worn out with
excessive fatigue, the fugitive was compelled to relax his
vigilance, and trust to chance, and the obscurity of his mountain
retreat for the opportunity of obtaining the repose which exhausted
On one occasion, Norris learned of Crotty's
intention to take a protracted rest in his cavern above the lake,
and he conveyed the information to the magistrate by whom he was
suborned. This official collected a party of military and marched
secretly to the vicinity of Crotty's hiding-place. They surrounded
the cavern, intending to maintain a strict blockade until the
outlaw, unconscious of their presence, should emerge therefrom, and
become an easy captive
Their bivouac on the exposed mountain-top lasted
longer than they expected or desired, and the commander of the party
began to doubt the accuracy of his information, and began to suspect
that the object of his visit was not then "At Home." However, being
unwilling to abandon the position it had cost them such exertion to
occupy, without a final attempt to ascertain the positive truth, he,
on consultation with his civilian colleague, offered a large reward
to any soldier who would volunteer to descend into the cavern and
explore its recesses.
The men naturally shrank from the perilous
enterprise, but at length one of them, tempted by the proffered
reward, and perhaps thinking the place unoccupied, offered to
undertake the risky job. It was arranged that he should be lowered
cautiously, so as to be able to reconnoitre, as he descended, and
thus observe the outlaw, if below, before he came within his reach,
and then, on making a signal, was to be quickly drawn up again.
THE SOLDIER DESCENDS
The soldier stuck a pair of pistols into his
waist-belt, took a torch of bog-deal in his hand, and having a rope
well secured round his body, and managed by the most expert among
his comrades, he was gradually lowered into the dark den. He looked
carefully below, casting around the light of his torch, but saw no
sign of any living occupant of the cave.
He descended still and reached the bottom. He was
seized from behind by an iron grasp, and a hand passed over his
shoulder compressed his throat almost to strangulation. The torch
fell from his hand, but continued to burn on the ground, and
discovered the fierce, yet mocking face and blazing eyes of the
robber, who now confronted him, armed to the teeth.
The helpless soldier thought his last moment had
come, but Crotty was too prudent to take his life, as by so doing he
would have notified to his besiegers that he was in the den. He,
therefore, keeping a choking grip on the prisoner's throat, told him
that if he attempted to convey the least signal to his comrades
above, he would stab him to the heart; but that he would spare his
life if he complied with his conditions.
THE SOLDIER'S RETURN
The half-choked soldier made a sign of assent, and
Crotty, releasing his grip, bound him by a fearful oath, that on
returning to his party above he would assure them that he had
examined the cave and found it empty which would be readily believed
from the fact of himself returning unharmed. But he warned the
soldier that if he violated his oath and betrayed him, his own doom
was sealed, for that Crotty's band would follow him to the ends of
the earth to avenge their chief.
The soldier kept his pledge, for on being drawn up,
after recovering his breath, he assured the magistrate and officers
that there was no one below; upon which the blockading party beat a
retreat, not in the best of humour, it may be taken for granted. The
truth eventually transpired by Crotty relating his adventure to
Crotty stated that he was coming up out of the
cave, but, when near the opening, he heard a sound that alarmed him:
on which he hastily descended and hid himself in the nook from which
he pounced on the invader of his retreat.
A DEVOTED WIFE
The next hairbreadth escape that Crotty had from
Norris's treacherv was due to the forethought and vigilance of his
devoted wife. On this occasion, the outlaw, being too much exhausted
after some desparate adventure resolved to pass the night at his
wife's brother's house in the village of Curracheen. He confided his
intention to Norris, and the traitor at once sent word to Mr. Hearn,
of Shanakill, who was deputy sheriff of the county, and had long
been endeavouring to effect Crotty's capture.
Crotty, being completely tired out, was soon fast
asleep; but not so his wife, who never thought him safe in the
lowlands. She was not only on the watch, but her suspicions of
Norris inspired her with the idea of making preparations to
counteract the effect of his possible treachery, and, with her
brother's help, she constructed a hiding-place in a large turf rick,
to which her husband could retreat at the least sign of danger. She
mounted to the top of the rick, determined to remain there as
sentinel while her husband slept.
ALARM AT CURRACHEEN!
Before long, Mrs. Crotty's ear, quickened by
apprehension, caught the distant sound of many footsteps, advancing
cautiously through the darkness. She sprang down, ran into the
house, and hastily awakened the sleeping outlaw. "You're sold!
William, you're sold! Come off and hide. I have a snug place for
you, and take your arms, but you can't fight now. There are too many
of 'em. Come away, quick, quick!"
Crotty, wide awake, jumped out of bed, followed his
wife who, with her brother's help, huddled him, with his arms,
clothes, and everything that might betray him, into the cavity of
the rick, telling him to remain quiet whatever might happen. Then,
having neatly filled up the opening with sides of turf, she returned
to the house with her brother, and lay down in the bed from which
she had roused her husband.
Soon she heard the party arrive and surround the
house; then Mr. Hearn's voice demanding admission in the King's
name. Mrs. Crotty's brother at once leaped from bed, and, without
dressing, hastened to open the door. He looked surprised, but not
alarmed, when the sheriff entered with his armed followers, and at
once told him the purport of the visit: They came to search for
With a look of conscious innocence, the man of the
house replied: "his Honour was welcome to search, but never a bit of
Crotty he'd find. To be sure, the wife, poor crathar! was there, but
dear knows where he himself was on the shaughraun the blessed
OFF THE SCENT
Mrs. Crotty being disturbed from her apparent
slumber, she very naturally commenced abusing Mr. Hearn for raising
the county to hunt a poor boy who never done hurt or harm to him or
any of his kith, kin, or relations. A purty how-do-you-do it was,
indeed, comin' with his set of murderin' gallis-birds to harish a
dacent family out of their beds at that time o' night, after their
hard day's work. Nice business it was for a man with a wife of his
own! But wait a while; maybe he'd yet have rayson to be sorry for
his night's fun. Crotty wasn't dead yet!"
She continued this tirade while they were searching
the house, looking all the time perfectly at her ease; but, as she
afterwards said: "it was the scoldin' that riz my heart, and kept my
courage up entirely." The house and outhouses were searched, but no
sign of Crotty was found. Norris, of course, was not present to aid
in the search, as the traitor was afraid to risk himself amongst
In the course of the examination outside, one of
the soldiers thrust his bayonet between the sods of turf in the rick
where Crotty was hidden; it crazed the outlaw's shoulder, but he
made no sign, and Mr. Hearn, convinced that his night's labour was
given for nothing, retreated sorely disappointed. Crotty had many
similar hairbreadth escapes from perils, most of which were owing to
the treachery of his associate and pretended friend, Norris.
THE DOOMED OUTLAW
But at length, in spite of his devoted and
courageous wife's vigilance, he fell a victim, as she often
predicted, to his blind confidence in the nefarious rascal, Norris.
One night, without the knowledge of Mrs. Crotty or her brother,
Norris prevailed on his "Captain" to remain at his house, in a
village near the foot of the Comeraghs.
The treacherous host plied his guest with whiskey,
until he fell fast asleep. Then he poured water into Crotty's
firearms, wet his powder, and stole away his dagger. In the
meantime, an emissary had been dispatched full speed for Mr. Hearn,
whom with his attendants, was stationed near at hand, as previously
arranged; and the sleeping outlaw, the victim of whiskey and
treachery, was roused by the grasp of his captors. He siezed his
arms and attempted to fire, but they too were false to him in this
hour of need, and after a desperate and unavailing struggle, he was
overpowered and taken to Waterford Jail. He was tried at the ensuing
assizes, and, of course, condemned and hanged.
According to the traditions of the vicinity "a
bootful of gold" was found in his possession when taken; but though
the mountain cavern was closely ransacked, no treasure was
discovered there, and it was suspected that Norris had plundered the
den immediately after Crotty's apprehension.
Crotty's wife gave vent to her grief in a caoine,
which is still sung in the original Irish by some of the old
residents in the vicinity of the Conmeraghs. Another crude and
commonplace English translation of its opening verses is given
above. I regret not being in a position to give the whole lament,
as, coming from her passionate energy of character, it must have
been intensely Irish in feeling and expression.
Mrs. Crotty's death was fearfully tragical. After
her husband's execution, and the death of his posthumous child,
informations were sworn against her by Norris as having been
accessory to some of her husband's aggressive deeds. The traitor
knew that he bid good reason to dread her implacable enmity, and
that while she lived his life was unsafe. A large reward was offered
for the woman's apprehension, and for some time she led the life of
One day, being cut off from all other avenues of
escape, she fled for refuge to the mountain den, but her pursuers
pressed her so closely that she could not get into the cave. In this
desperate strait the poor creature determined not to be taken alive,
and so enrich her enemy by the rewards offered for her capture.
Actuated by this purpose, she ran up to the topmost pinnacle of
"Crotty's Rock" Rung herself headlong down, and was, of course,
dashed to pieces by the tremendous fall.
Strange to relate, Norris died in his bed among a
people who regarded Crotty as a benefactor and a champion of the
poor, an who universally detest an "informer." The memory of Crotty
will long be preserved in the scene of his daring exploits, owing to
the circumstance of his name being given to so many
A LEGEND OF CROTTY'S ROCK
From cottage and hamlet the smoke is
The sun high in heaven his course on is wending
in silvery streaks down the side of the mountain
onward rush, foaming many a fountain.
O'er the tall cliffs of Comeragh the eagle is
The hare through the heather is stealthily
From carraig to carraig the goats up are
And, hark! through the valley a bugle is sounding.
Near a half-ruined shieling, a maiden is
Who wistfully watches some soldiers debouching;
gaze is quite fixed, and her heart quick is beating,
for some terrible crisis awaiting.
From the glen stretching wesward, beyond the broad
Swift as a wild deer a traveller crosses;
He makes for
the mountain o'er hill and through hollow
Whilst behind him,
pursuing, both horse and foot follow.
Now, up the steep mountain he pants and he
Though bullets drop round him among the heath
He's tired -- he's falling -- he rises he's
And the foremost among them is hurt beyond healing.
Now onward again he is bounding with vigour,
there's death to a foe when he touches a trigger:
Brit still as
he halts he is losing his distance,
And tis madness to make any
With body bent forward, and hair wildly
Distractedly now that poor maiden is creaming;
bear him," she cries, "but to yon beetling corraig,
Agus beidh se
neamh-spleadhach le na saighdiuri dearg!? *
On the ridge of the mountains now madly he's
His hat is shot off, but no blood is yet gushing;
gains a tall cliff, and the soldiers are cheering,
No means of
escape any longer appearing.
One shout of defiance, one bound from the
And a thousand feet under, the lake feels the shock,
there in a cave o'er the edge of the water,
The outlaw can laugh
at the bullet and halter.
- EDWARD TOUHIL
* Translation: "and he will be
independent of the red (coated) soldiers"