Dunlavin Green


In the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety eight
A sorrowful tale the truth unto you I’ll relate
Of thirty-six heroes to the world were left to be seen
By a false information were shot on Dunlavin Green

Bad luck to you Saunders, for you did their lives betray
You said a parade would be held on that very day
Our drums they did rattle – our fifes they did sweetly play
Surrounded we were and privately marched away

Quite easy they led us as prisoners through the town
To be slaughtered on the plain, we were then forced to kneel down
Such grief and such sorrow were never before there seen
When the blood ran in streams down the dykes of Dunlavin Green

There is young Matty Farrell has plenty of cause to complain
Also the two Duffys who were also shot down on the plain
And young Andy Ryan, his mother distracted will run
For her own brave boy, her beloved eldest son

Bad luck to you, Saunders, may bad luck never you shun!
That the widow’s curse may melt you like the snow in the sun
The cries of the orphans whose murmurs you cannot screen
For the murder of their dear fathers on Dunlavin Green

Some of our boys to the hills they are going away
Some of them are shot and some of them going to sea
Micky Dwyer in the mountains to Saunders he owes a spleen
For his loyal brothers who were shot on Dunlavin Green

In Dunlavin, Co Wicklow, Captain Saunders marched 36 prisoners, among them 28 yeomen suspected of having sympathies towards the United Irishmen, from the jail to the village green. They were executed on the spot.