Skip to main content

Is this a 1798 poem?

This is a well known poem/song in the Carbury/Edenderry area. But who was Charlie Og McCann and what period does the poem refer to? My own research into the 1798 rebellion and the build up to it has unearthed the case of four men from the Edenderry/Carbury locality who were sentenced to death for their part in the murder of the Grattan's, Mary and Esther at the estate of Lord Harberton on 12 July 1798. The four men, Kilmurray, Bermingham, Kenny and McCann were originally sentenced to be transported for life, but their sentence was changed, the court deciding that they should die at the spot where they had committed the crime. Although the transportation lists the name of McCann as Thomas, newspaper coverage of the incident was uncertain of his Christian name.

In 1873, Edenderry man Hugh (or Aedh) Farrell, wrote a book of nationalist poems entitled Irish National Poems, which included the poem Charley Og McCann. Was Farrell the author?

Charlie  Og McCann
The brave old hill of Carbury is stately bold and strong
and down the vale of Newberry, the river flows along
strong and ancient is that hill, well known to every man
and gentle as the purling rill went Charlie  Og McCann

Twas in the merry month of May we met upon the green,
the fairest at the fair that day my Charlie Og was seen,
the brightest at the dance was he, where mirth and music rang
and many a maid invited him, my Charlie Og McCann

The brave old hill of Carbury, where many a time we met,
when summer birds sang merrily, I never can forget.
Twas there we wandered side by side, twas there our love began,
twas there I said I'd be the bride of Charlie Og McCann

The evening breeze blew loud and shrill, the leaves began to fall,
I stood alone upon the hill beside the castle wall.
My love was borne away from me, all in a prison van
They banished him far oer the sea, brave Charlie Og McCann

The brave old hill of Carbury in grief I wander o'er
My heart is beating wearily for I know he'll come no more
His loving bride i ne'er shall be, his face i ne'er shall scan
for its in old Ireland's cause he died, brave Charlie Og McCann


Popular posts from this blog


From earliest times to the 13th Century.

About 120 AD Cathair Mór. King of Leinster, became powerful enough to be designated Ard-Rí Éireann by the four masters in the annals.He had ten sons, the eldest Ros Fáilghe (“of the rings”) was given the territory of North Offaly which became known as Uí Fáilighe in later times and from which the name Offaly derives.

The O’Connor sept is descended from Ros, they ruled all or part of Offaly up until the late 16th century.Offaly was divided into 7 “tríocha céad” or districts.Each district had it’s own sub-chief, the area that includes modern day Edenderry was called Tuatha-dá-Muighe, the territory of the two plains, which was the patrimonial inheritance of the O’Mulkenes.The name of the area gradually became corrupted until it was known as Tetmoy Ballykilleen Fort
This is the oldest structure extant in the Edenderry area. (To get to it head out of Edenderry on Tullamore road and turn left at Ballyfore crossroads towards the power station).

It is a tri…

Blundell Castle, Edenderry

BLUNDELL CASTLE: A BRIEF HISTORY The area around Edenderry is littered with castles, most of which were built in the Anglo- Norman period, such as Carrick, Kinnefad, Ballyleakin and Brackagh amongst others. Overlooking the town of Edenderry, BlundellCastle is located on a hill from which the town gets its name; Eadon Doire, meaning brow or hill-top of the oak trees. Today, the oak trees are long since gone, but the ruins of the castle remain, a testament to the days of De Bermingham and O’Connor feuding, and later Cooley (or Cowley) power, the family who were granted the lands of Edenderry after the Laois/Offaly Plantation in 1556. In their book, Edenderry through the ages[1], Evans and Whelan make no mention of a date of the building of BlundellCastle. The earliest mention they make of the castle is when referring to the 1550 survey taken prior to the plantation, which mentions “a path to the castell of Eadandyrre”[2]. The remains of the present castle, or tower house, can be traced t…

When Edenderry was Ireland’s ‘Detroit’

Detroit is synonymous with being the Headquarters of the US Car manufacturing Industry. There was a time at the start of the 20th Century when it could be fairly said that Edenderry was the “Detroit”, or motor car manufacturing capital of Ireland.

The first motor car manufacturer was William Corrigan.His gravestone at CastroPetreCemetery records that he died on the 3rd January 1946 aged 83 years. 42 years earlier, in 1902, and at the age of 41 or so, he manufactured a 4 ½ hp car. Apparently there is a photograph of this car in the museum of the Royal Irish Automobile Club which has its headquarters in Kildare Street, Dublin. William Corrigan ran a very successful garage business. According to details recorded in one of the late Joe Reilly’s books, over 40 people were employed there and some of the principal customers were O’Brien’s which had 15 Lorries and 8 Vans and Williams’ Bakery.The garage business was located at the rear of William Corrigan’s house on Main Street Edenderry. Joe D…