1997 Contents

A man called Harold Delaney composed the song "My Inchigeela Lass".  He was a Fenian who was on the run and happened to be at Mass in Inchigeela Church one Sunday morning when the church was surrounded by soldiers and yeomen who were ready to capture him.  A young girl called Máire Uí Rathailligh, who was related to Delaney, took him to the bottom of the church and exchanged clothes with him. Delaney went out dressed as a woman and was not recognised by the soldiers.  He headed for Cobh and boarded a ship for America.  The song "My Inchigeela Lass" is a song of praise about this girl Máire

My Inchigeela Lass

I greet you proud Iveleary's sons and daughters fair and true
Assembled at the south-end club, old friendships to renew,
This annual opportunity I'm loth to let it pass
Ere I recite a tale to-night of my Inchigeela Lass.

Iveleary ah, how sweet your name rings in an exile's ear
Tho'I've not seen those heath clad hills those five and twenty years,
T'was there I met my heart's delight one Sunday morn at Mass
As I knelt in prayer in the chapel there with my Inchigeela Lass.

She was modest as the cooing dove and gentle as the fawn
That roam over Desmond's storied heights, those highlands o'er Gougane
No goddess fair in Grecian days in beauty could surpass
My winsome rogue, my Máirín Óg, my Inchigeela Lass.

Like all the boys along the Lee I joined a rebel band
And pledged myself to freedom's cause for dear old motherland
An outlaw, I was chased from Cork to Keimaneigh's famed Pass
And forced to flee from Erin's Lee and my Inchigeela Lass.

Before I from my native land for ever would depart
I slipped beyond the soldier's lines to the darling of my heart
Her pictures on the moonlit lake that mirrored as in glass
The pattern queen of sweet Keimeen, my Inchigeela Lass.

Over Muskerry's heights and Shehy slopes a waning moon shone pale
As I clasped her to my heart that night in Keimeen's emerald vale
And when inside her cottage door her nimble form did pass
T'was the last I saw of my Cailín Breá, my Inchigeela Lass.

I sped thro' Inniscarra's groves before the dawn of day
To a passage in a Yankee ship that in Queenstown Harbour lay
The Captain being a Fenian bold my safety to compass
And the ship set sail from Gráinne Mhaol and my Inchigeela Lass.

Oh, what became of Máirín Óg, Iveleary's fairest flower
She drooped as drops the May bloomed leaves, belated Winter showers
The Autumn trees had shed their leaves as they laid her'neath the grass
My promised bride, Iveleary's pride, my Inchigeela Lass.

Were I beside the Lee to-night I'd quickly find the spot
Where Máirín smile brought sunshine to her widowed mother's cot
The smile that lit the eyes of my sweet Cailín deas
Still cheers my way, I will always pray for my Inchigeela Lass.

Iveleary, ah Iveleary, far away across the wave
You own what I prize most on earth, my Máirín's moss-grown grave
My present habitation is in Broadway, Boston, Mass.
And the Buachaill Rua is always true to his Inchigeela Lass.