At Boolavogue as the sun was setting
O'er the bright May meadows of Shelmalier,
A rebel hand set the heather blazing
And brought the neighbors from far and near.
Then Father Murphy, from old Kilcormack,
Spurred up the rocks with a warning cry,
"Arm, Arm!" he cried, "for I've come to lead you,
For Ireland's freedom we'll fight or die."
He led us on 'gainst the coming soldiers,
And the cowardly Yeomen we put to flight;
'Twas at the Harrow the boys of Wexford
Showed Bookey's regiment how men could fight.
Look out for hirelings, King George of England,
Search every kingdom where breathes a slave.
For Father Murphy from the County Wexford
Sweeps o'er the land like a mighty wave
At Vinegar Hill, o'er the pleasant Slaney,
Our heroes vainly stood back to back,
And the Yeos at Tullow took Father Murphy
And burned his body upon the rack.
God grant you glory, brave Father Murphy,
And open heaven to all your men;
For the cause that called you may call to-morrow
In another fight for the Green again.
Background photo was taken at Father Murphy's Centre, Boolavogue,
County Wexford, Ireland.
This herringbone wall was unearthed during the renovation of the site.
This wall dates back to the uprising of 1798.
The photo was taken so that the Harrow is off in the distance.
Throughout 1798, Irish Nationalists attempted to free their country from British Tyranny.
The insurrection started in County Down in the North but some of the fiercest battles
occurred in County Wexford.
On May 26th, Father John Murphy of Boolavogue led his parishioners in a victorious
routing over the Camolin Cavalry in the Harrow, a small village near Boolavogue.
The next day, the militia returned to destroy the chapel and homes in Boolavogue.
For the next month, the insurgents, known as Pikeman, continued to battle the British
military and their Irish supporters. Most battles occurred in County Wexford
but some spilled over into County Wicklow, County Kilkenny and County Carlow.
Among the leaders of the Wexford insurgents were Father John Murphy
and Father Mogue Kearns.
On June 21st, the Wexford insurgents suffered a major defeat at Vinegar Hill,
County Wexford but the majority of the insurgents did escaped. They continued
to fight for another month.
On July 2nd, Father Murphy and James Gallagher are executed at Tullow, Co. Carlow.
On July 12th, Father Mogue Kearns was captured at Clonbollogue and was executed
at Edenderry, County Offaly on July 14th.
(In a recent interview, Anthony Kearns mentioned that he was the last Kearns
to be born in Father Mogue Kearns' farmhouse.)
The insurrection wasn't surpassed until mid October when French ships were
captured off the north west coast. Although this insurrection was squashed,
it did result in parliamentary changes and it brought to the forefront
the plight of the Catholic peasantry.
Plaque in the
Replica of the farmhouse
used by Father Murphy