Boys of the County Cork

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the War of Independence. Congratulations to the Presentation National School who marked the anniversary with a wonderful rendition of the Boys of the County Cork:

While it was not clear in the beginning of 1919 that the Dáil ever intended to gain independence by military means, and war was not explicitly threatened in Sinn Féin’s 1918 manifesto, an incident occurred on 21 January 1919, the same day as the First Dáil convened. The Soloheadbeg Ambush, in County Tipperary, was led by Seán TreacySéamus RobinsonSeán Hogan and Dan Breen acting on their own initiative. The IRA attacked and shot two RIC officers, Constables James McDonnell and Patrick O’Connell, who were escorting explosives. Breen later recalled:

…we took the action deliberately, having thought over the matter and talked it over between us. Treacy had stated to me that the only way of starting a war was to kill someone, and we wanted to start a war, so we intended to kill some of the police whom we looked upon as the foremost and most important branch of the enemy forces. The only regret that we had following the ambush was that there were only two policemen in it, instead of the six we had expected.[33]

This is widely regarded as the beginning of the War of Independence. 


Boys of the County Cork (Lyrics)

You’ve read in history pages the heroes of great fame
the deeds they done and battles won And how they made their name.
But the boys who made the history for the Orange, White and Green,
were the boys who died in Dublin town in 1916.

Meet the boys from Kerry, take the boys from Clare
From Dublin Wicklow Donegal and the boys from old Kildare
Some came from a and across the sea, from Boston and New York
But the boys who beat the Black and Tans Were the boys from County Cork

In Ireland’s rebel county our heros fought and died
Tom Barry and his gallant crew filled Irish hearts with pride
From Skibereen to Bandon, to Bantry by the sea
Our brave young Michale Collins fought for Ireland’s libery

Well Cork came us McSweeney, A martyr for to die
And Wicklow gave us Dwyer in those days now long gone by
And Dublin gave us Padraic Pearse, McBride and Cathal Brugha.
And America gav eus De Valera to lead auld Ireland through.

We seem to be divided but I really don’t know why.
We had brave men and heroes, and for Ireland they did die.
Now why not get together and join in unity,
The North, the South, the East and West Will set old Ireland free.




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