Once more the Summer decks the hills round dear old Millstreet town
The breezes waft the scent from flowers of green Duhallow down
The sunshine chases shadows fleet o’er Muskery’s meadows wide
And light and shade guild every glade by sweet Blackwater’s side

Sweet it is when Clara hill is clad in sunset glow
And happy lovers shyly meet in many a vale below
They breathe the balmy Irish air and roam the meadows through
Where Finnow witching waters join the far famed Avondhu

Oh. Avondhu by many a field your shadowed waters glide
Where I have life[s golden hours your restful banks beside
Now scattered afar the comrades all my careless boyhood knew
Alas we’ll never meet again beside sweet Avondhu

Some sleep beside that grand old stream in the graveyard on the hill
They closed their eyes in dreamless death while life seemed pleasant still
Light lay the sod upon their clay may heaven’s sweetest dew
For ever bless each comrade’s grave beside sweet Avondhu

The fairest land on earth art thou Oh Ireland grá mo chroí
Your Exiles brave in every land are wrath to make you free
Their dearest hope that yet some day in Freedoms light they’ll view
Their Native hills that sleep for aye beside sweet Avondhu

J. Doody (Author)
Co. Cork

from the Dúchas Collection

School:Sráid an Mhuilinn (B.) (roll number 14350)
Location: Millstreet, Co. Cork
Teacher: Seán Ó Céilleachair


The author “J. Doody” was Jerry Doody who lived along the Glebe. His grandson Jerry added: “He was indeed a poet of some renown, unfortunately most of his writings were lost. Among his other pieces was ‘My Blackthorn Stick’ and a tribute to the Millstreet team that won the County in 1948.”


“Avondhu” – We’re sure that many will wonder about the name Avondhu, and maybe it should be read Blackwater, but it is an anglified version of Abhainn Dubh (Black river). In older times the river was actually called the Avonmore, or Broadwater. see the below explination from Library Ireland.


“The Munster Blackwater was never called by the name of Awniduff or Avonduff, or Avondhu as some of our present-day writers put it (all meaning “black-river”). Its Irish name is Avonmore (great river) as we find it in all native authorities ancient and modern; and this is the name in universal use in the spoken Irish language of the present day. The modern English name Blackwater therefore is not a translation, but a new name given by English-speaking people; and it is an appropriate one, for the river is very dark in the early part of its course, partly from the peat bogs of Slieve Lougher, and partly on account of the Duhallow coal district through which it flows.
But it will be of consequence to remark that the English name in general use in Spenser’s time was Broadwater, which is a sufficiently correct translation of “Avonmore.” For example Gerard Boate who wrote his Natural History of Ireland about the middle of the 17th century, has: “The two chief rivers of Munster are Sure and Broadwater, the city of Waterford being situated on the first . . . the other (Broadwater) passeth by Lismore and falleth into the sea by Youghal.”It is also called Broad-water in Norden’s map of Ireland, compiled about 1610; and in a charter of James I. the two English names are used—”the river Blackwater called otherwise Broadwater.” [Library Ireland]

1 thought on “Avondhu”

  1. Jerry Doody was a famous poet from Dooneen near Millstreet Town
    But this was not his only claim to renown
    Pre General Elections in Towns in Duhallow to Ireland’s Dail
    He used to introduce candidates on behalf of Fianna Fail

    Far beyond the borders of Duhallow’s green countryside
    Jerry Doody in his lifetime became known far and wide
    Quite an intelligent fellow with words he had a way
    Perhaps not many who knew or knew of him are living today

    Even in old age quite handsome lean looking and tall
    By those who knew or knew of him he was loved by all
    In the nineteen fifties he was well past his physical prime
    And this is going back many decades in time

    That time with it brings changes only true to say
    A different Ireland to the Ireland Jerry Doody lived in today
    Duhallow back then a monocultural place
    Nowadays many who live there their family history to elsewhere can trace

    As a poet and public speaker in his lifetime his reputation had grown
    And far beyond Duhallow he was widely known
    Among the deceased of Millstreet at peace he does lay
    And few who knew of him are living today.

    “Jerry Doody” was written by Francis Duggan

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