The Cloontagh Boys, song

Jim McGonigle (James Eoghain), singing in English
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There’s a quiet little spot in Clonmany but now it’s a place of great fame
It stands at the foot of the mountain and Cloontagh my boys is its name
It is known all over the country as the scene of a terrible fight
At a dance in the quiet little townland in the dead of a dark winter’s night.

The boys and the girls did assemble to have a bit of a spree
And to welcome a pal back to Ireland from that far distant land of the free
They were enjoying the singing and dancing and everyone happy and bright
'Til the door it was suddenly opened and the guards they burst in from the night.

Sure the dancing all stopped of a sudden ‘cause nobody knew who they were
'Til the leader he shouted hands up boys and he fired three shots in the air
Oh the boys they then set about them and the dance they did change to a fight
And the screams of the women and children were carried in the winds of the night.

But one had more cheek than the others he tried to get down the room door
But somebody gave him a right upper cut and laid him out flat on the floor
But luckily the people took cover when the soldiers their rifles did load
To protect their cowardly aul’ police who ran for their lives down the road.

And luckily for everyone present no one was seriously hurt
But the saddest of all things about it was the super he lost his new shirt
It was early the very next morning they returned with a mighty army
And six of our boys were arrested and to jail they were taken away.

Then in Lifford before judge and jury their trial it’s there it took place
Where the gallant young Hugh C O’Doherty he told the guards up to their face
That they alone were the cause of the trouble they did not know what their duty should be
And the jury they showed that they believed him for our boys sure they all came back free.

When the good news it came down to Clonmany It was heard with the greatest delight
And all around that quiet little townland Sure the bonfires blazed through the night
The people they all were delighted when they heard the end of the case
And everyone said that in future that those boys made the guards keep their place.

see also   The Cloontagh boys / Packie McGonigle