Ireland in Schools

Promoting mutual understanding between the peoples of Britain and Ireland through young people

Liverpool Pilot Scheme

The external links – to pdf files and other PowerPoint presentations – will work only with CDROM versions. They have been retained in this internet version to show what is possible.

Phil Doyle Holy Name Catholic Primary School, Liverpool ‘Ireland in Schools’ Liverpool Pilot Scheme Liverpool City Council

Irish Poetry for Year 4

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Note for teachers Poems 3. The Hidden Art by Gabriel Fitzmaurice 4. Forty Shades of Green by Gabriel Fitzmaurice Tasks for Poems 1 & 2 3. A Giant Never Dies by Gabriel Fitzmaurice 4. Handwriting by Gabriel Fitzmaurice Tasks for Poems 3 & 4 9. The Smugglers of Mourne by Martin Waddell Tasks for Poem 5 6. Tortoise by Basil Payne 7. Winter in Dublin by D. J. O’Sullivan Tasks for Poems 6 & 7 14. Train Journey by R. Baker Tasks for Poem 8 Gaelic Games Ballaghbeg Mountains of Mourne Mountains of Mourne – ballad Map of Ireland – counties & towns NLS Planning Sheet – pdf format

Note for teachers
This selection of seven poems was the focus of the Literacy Hour in Year 4 during Irish Week at Holy Name Catholic Primary School, 30 June – 4 July 2003. They were chosen for their range and for their potential for giving children a better understanding of Ireland and relations between people in Ireland and people in Britain. The poems – and the whole week throughout the school – were a great success, enlivening teaching and learning and breathing life into the last weeks of term. One of the poems, ‘A Giant Never Dies’, is about a hero who played both Gaelic football and hurling. The children, knowing much about the Irish soccer team, found it hard to believe that people in Ireland played such different and distinctive sports. The poem was, perhaps, the best introduction we could have had to exploring the similarities and differences between ‘the peoples of these islands’. Using the English poem, ‘Train Journey’, on the last day of the week encouraged the children to reflect further on similarities and differences. The NLS Planning Sheet for this selection is available in pdf format. However, tasks on individual poems or pairs of poems are reproduced after each poem or pair of poems.

1. The Hidden Art
By Gabriel Fitzmaurice A Giant Never Dies, Poolbeg, 1-84223-009-3, p. 35

Making a fart Is an art. The wind that comes To your behind Has a mind of its own And its mind Is set on blowing And the pressure Keeps on growing.

So to make for quiet release You hold it softly, Then you ease It slowly out between your cheeks If you’re lucky it won't leak, and no one knows You’ve made a fart. That’s why farting Is an art.

Fitzmaurice, The Hidden Art

2. Forty Shades of Green
By Gabriel Fitzmaurice A Giant Never Dies, Poolbeg, 1-84223-009-3, p. 36

In Granda’s time, he told me, They’d no toilets anywhere – They had to do their business In the open-air In orchards, fields and gardens Where they would not be seen And that’s the reason, and Granda says, Why Ireland is so green.

Fitzmaurice, Forty Shades of Green

Tasks for 1. The Hidden Art & 2. Forty Shades of Green Whole class
shared reading/writing

Whole class
phonics, spelling, vocabulary & grammar

Independent group tasks

Plenar y
Read Poems again & identify verbs and nouns. How did you tell?

Mon What type of poems are these? (Humorous) Do they rhyme? Is the rhyme structured? Discuss number & length of stanzas. Do you like the poems. Why/not?

Change tense – ‘making’, ‘comes’, ‘growing’, ‘knows’. Make singular/plura l - ‘toilets’, ‘orchards’, ‘fields’, ‘gardens’. What does this tell us about the words verbs/nouns?

Chn to change words to identify class of words. Braun: Change verb endings, pluralisatio n, add comparativ e endings, classify words. Dahl: Change verb endings & add comparati ve endings, classify words. KS/F: Change verb endings to classify verbs.

3. A Giant Never Dies
i.m Michael Hennessy of Moyvane and Ballyduff
By Gabriel Fitzmaurice A Giant Never Dies, Poolbeg, 1-84223-009-3, pp 65-8

Hurling

Gaelic football

‘I come from sweet Knockauling, John Bradley is my name And I’m the king of hurlers For hurling is my game.’ So sang young John Bradley As he dashed from the TV His head full of hurling, Great deeds and bravery On that Sunday in September, All Ireland Hurling Day, The All Ireland Final over; He dashed outside to play With a hurling stick and rubber ball, He hurled on his own He’d no brothers or no sisters And so he played alone Whack! against the gable Then run and leap and catch Re-playing the All Ireland, Making it his match. And then, his mind-game over, He ran in home to Dad And they talked of hurling heroes And the mighty games they played. Dad told him of the exploits Of Big Mick Hennessy Who played football for Knockauling And hurling for Ballylee; And how once upon a Championship He was called to play In the local Football Final And on that selfsame day

When the football match was over He played for Ballylee In the County Hurling Final In the great Park of Tralee. In the centre for Knockauling, He scored five points that day And when the match was over He left the field of play, No time to celebrate and lift The cup of victory He dashed out to the hackney car That would take him to Tralee And changed Knockauling’s colours For the green of Ballylee. Just in time for the second half, His team a goal behind, Big Mick Hennessy took the field And hurled into the wind; And when the game was over He’d scored three goals to win And thousands knew they’d never see The likes of him again. The time is some weeks later, The place - the Park, Tralee, The County Hurling Final, Tullybeg and Ballylee. John Bradley and his Daddy Have travelled here this day, A treat for young John’s birthday Eleven years today. The game is fast and factious, And at half time they see The men of forty years ago,

As thirty men in suits walk out, The hurlers of that day When Big Mick Hennessy showed to all How the great can play; And as his name is called out Each man waves to the crowd And at the name ‘Mick Hennessy’ The cheers are long and loud. But young John Bradley’s puzzled The man he sees out there Is not as he imagined: With glasses, thinning hair, To young John he looks no different To the other men Standing out there on the field. He realises then That Mick Hennessy’s a story Of a giant with a ball And what he sees there on the field Is not a giant at all. Yes, Mick Hennessy’s a story One that will be told When Big Mick is dead and gone And young John Bradley’s old. For a giant lives in story Among his people who Believe in deeds of greatness And honour all that’s true. Yes, Mick Hennessy’s our story, A giant with a ball Who once upon a Championship Won glory for us all.

Fitzmaurice, A Giant Never Dies

‘I come from sweet Knockauling, John Bradley is my name And I’m the king of hurlers For hurling is my game.’ So sang young John Bradley As he dashed from the TV His head full of hurling, Great deeds and bravery On that Sunday in September, All Ireland Hurling Day, The All Ireland Final over; He dashed outside to play With a hurling stick and rubber ball, He hurled on his own He’d no brothers or no sisters And so he played alone

Whack! against the gable Then run and leap and catch Re-playing the All Ireland, Making it his match. And then, his mind-game over, He ran in home to Dad And they talked of hurling heroes And the mighty games they played. Dad told him of the exploits Of Big Mick Hennessy Who played football for Knockauling And hurling for Ballylee; And how once upon a Championship He was called to play In the local Football Final And on that selfsame day

Fitzmaurice, A Giant Never Dies, 1-8

When the football match was over He played for Ballylee In the County Hurling Final In the great Park of Tralee. In the centre for Knockauling, He scored five points that day And when the match was over He left the field of play, No time to celebrate and lift The cup of victory He dashed out to the hackney car That would take him to Tralee And changed Knockauling’s colours For the green of Ballylee. Just in time for the second half, His team a goal behind, Big Mick Hennessy took the field And hurled into the wind;

And when the game was over He’d scored three goals to win And thousands knew they’d never see The likes of him again. The time is some weeks later, The place - the Park, Tralee, The County Hurling Final, Tullybeg and Ballylee. John Bradley and his Daddy Have travelled here this day, A treat for young John’s birthday Eleven years today. The game is fast and factious, And at half time they see The men of forty years ago, Knockane and Ballylee,

Fitzmaurice, A Giant Never Dies, 916

As thirty men in suits walk out, The hurlers of that day When Big Mick Hennessy showed to all How the great can play; And as his name is called out Each man waves to the crowd And at the name ‘Mick Hennessy’ The cheers are long and loud. But young John Bradley’s puzzled The man he sees out there Is not as he imagined: With glasses, thinning hair, To young John he looks no different To the other men Standing out there on the field. He realises then
The watermark is a photograph of a tense AllIreland hurley final being played in Croke Park, Dublin, in 1922 The players are waiting for the ball to be thrown in by a visiting celebrity, Michael Collins. He died shortly afterwards in an ambush by fellow Irish Republican.

That Mick Hennessy’s a story Of a giant with a ball And what he sees there on the field Is not a giant at all. Yes, Mick Hennessy’s a story One that will be told When Big Mick is dead and gone And young John Bradley’s old. For a giant lives in story Among his people who Believe in deeds of greatness And honour all that’s true. Yes, Mick Hennessy’s our story, A giant with a ball Who once upon a Championship Won glory for us all.

Fitzmaurice, A Giant Never Dies, 17-24

4. Handwriting
By Gabriel Fitzmaurice A Giant Never Dies, Poolbeg, 1-84223-009-3, p. 20

When I was young, my writing Was big and fat and tall But now I’m ten, my writing Is getting very small.

It’s fine to have big writing When you’re learning to write, But writing like an Infant When you’re ten just isn’t right. So I hold my pencil tightly And make my letters small; I think teeny writing Is the coolest kind of all Though if it gets much smaller It won’t be seen at all!
Fitzmaurice, Handwriting

Big and fat and tall...
It won’t
be
seen
at
all.

Tasks for 3. A Giant Never Dies & 4. Handwriting Whole class
shared reading/writing

Whole class
phonics, spelling, vocabulary & grammar

Independent group tasks

Plenar y Discus s Finding s of chn. Discus s meanings. Discus s Nicknames.

T ues

‘A Giant Never Dies’

‘Handwriting’

What is hurling? What type of football is the poet referring to? What could we compare to All Ireland Day? How does the poem make you feel? Discuss structure?

Discuss meaning of ‘teeny’. Discuss different ways of forming diminutives: ette, mini-, adjectives, nouns & nicknames.

Chn to find diminutives Ahlberg: Find diminutive s for animals & by adding suffixes. Dahl: Find diminutive s for animals & by adding suffixes. KS/F: Add suffixes to find diminutiv e.

5. The Smugglers of Mourne
By Martin Waddell Longman, 0-58212-195-7

Tom Murphy was young p. 3 when his father was hung. Poor Tom! Poor Tom! They took Tom and tied him and hid him away in a stone cell at Ballaghbeg Quay, for he was the son of the smuggler. Nancy Bell, she loved Tom well and she came by the rocks with a key for all locks and she opened the door and Tom got away. Tom and brave Nancy crept away from the town to the mountains of Mourne, above the Mourne shore and they hid and they waited for the dark ship to come. p. 4

The moon on the Mournes was hiding away when the dark ship sailed into the bay. It showed no light and it came in the night to rescue Tom, and his brave Nancy Bell. The dark ship came into the cove by Green Harbour, silently, silently, in from the sea.

p. 8

Alone on Mourne shore were Tom and his Nancy, Tom and his dear one, his brave Nancy Bell, and, from the ship, a boat pulled for the shore.

p. 13

Tom clung to poor Nancy p. 20 and he swam and he swam to the dark ship that was waiting to take them on board, Tom and his brave Nancy Bell. Ranaghan swore on the shore p. 21 and dashed down his glove He was beaten! The ship sailed away p. 23 from the Mountains of Mourne. Tom stood on the deck, bathed in the blood of his brave Nancy Bell. Then she stirred, and she sighed, as she lay in his arms ... And Tom knew that he’d saved Nancy Bell! They sailed far away 24 and they never came back to the Mountains of Mourne where they’d hidden alone, Tom and his love, his brave Nancy Bell. p.

p. 9

Muffled oars, p. 14 and muffled voices. Tom and his friends on the shore, Tom and his brave Nancy Bell and then ...

They ate berries and roots p. 5 and drank milk from the goats in their small cave. But then Ranaghan found them. p. 6 He saw Nancy Bell as she bathed in the stream and he followed her back to the cave. He knew he had found where Tom Murphy was hidden. Ranaghan ran to the Excise Man and they made a plan to capture poor Tom, and Nancy as well, Tom’s brave Nancy Bell. p. 7

A light! A light! One light shining bright! Just one flash of light, flashing again, and again and then ... darkness, so no-one would see, but Tom and his brave Nancy Bell. Ranaghan waited, p. 11 Ranaghan watched. He saw Nancy Bell and Poor Tom slip out of their cave and follow the stream down through the rocks to Green Harbour.

Dark shapes in the night. p. 15 The Excise Men! p. 10 The Excise Men with their swords and their sticks ran over the shore. Such a fight in the night! It clattered and roared, red blood in the water, the smugglers at bay ... ... Tom and his brave Nancy, they got away! They dived in the water off Donnegan’s rock and they swam out to sea. But ... p. 16

p. 17

Ranaghan saw them! p. 19 And Ranaghan peeled off his glove. He loaded his pistol Ranaghan climbed on his horse p. 12 and fired! and he rode, and he rode, Nancy Bell cried, to the Excise Man she was hit! at Ballaghbeg Quay.

Waddell, The Smugglers of Mourne

Tom Murphy was young p. 3 when his father was hung. Poor Tom! Poor Tom! They took Tom and tied him and hid him away in a stone cell at Ballaghbeg Quay, for he was the son of the smuggler. Nancy Bell, she loved Tom well and she came by the rocks with a key for all locks and she opened the door and Tom got away. Tom and brave Nancy p. 4 crept away from the town to the mountains of Mourne, above the Mourne shore and they hid and they waited for the dark ship to come.

They ate berries and roots and drank milk from the goats in their small cave.

p. 5

But then Ranaghan found them. p. 6 He saw Nancy Bell as she bathed in the stream and he followed her back to the cave. He knew he had found where Tom Murphy was hidden. Ranaghan ran to the Excise Man and they made a plan to capture poor Tom, and Nancy as well, Tom’s brave Nancy Bell. p. 7

Waddell, The Smugglers of Mourne, pp 3-7

The moon on the Mournes p. 8 was hiding away when the dark ship sailed into the bay. It showed no light and it came in the night to rescue Tom, and his brave Nancy Bell. The dark ship came p. 9 into the cove by Green Harbour, silently, silently, in from the sea. A light! A light! p. 10 One light shining bright! Just one flash of light, flashing again, and again and then ... darkness, so no-one would see, but Tom and his brave Nancy Bell.

Ranaghan waited, p. 11 Ranaghan watched. He saw Nancy Bell and Poor Tom slip out of their cave and follow the stream down through the rocks to Green Harbour. Ranaghan climbed on his horse 12 and he rode, and he rode, to the Excise Man at Ballaghbeg Quay. p.

Waddell, The Smugglers of Mourne, pp 8-11

Alone on Mourne shore were Tom and his Nancy, Tom and his dear one, his brave Nancy Bell, and, from the ship, a boat pulled for the shore.

p. 13

Muffled oars, p. 14 and muffled voices. Tom and his friends on the shore, Tom and his brave Nancy Bell and then ... Dark shapes in the night. p. 15 The Excise Men! The Excise Men with their swords and their sticks ran over the shore. Such a fight in the night! It clattered and roared, red blood in the water, the smugglers at bay ... p. 16

... Tom and his brave Nancy, 17 they got away! They dived in the water off Donnegan’s rock and they swam out to sea. But ... Ranaghan saw them! p. 19 And Ranaghan peeled off his glove. He loaded his pistol and fired! Nancy Bell cried, she was hit!

p.

Waddell, The Smugglers of Mourne, pp 13-19

Tom clung to poor Nancy p. 20 and he swam and he swam to the dark ship that was waiting to take them on board, Tom and his brave Nancy Bell. Ranaghan swore on the shore p. 21 and dashed down his glove He was beaten! The ship sailed away p. 23 from the Mountains of Mourne. Tom stood on the deck, bathed in the blood of his brave Nancy Bell.

Then she stirred, and she sighed, as she lay in his arms ... And Tom knew that he’d saved Nancy Bell! They sailed far away and they never came back to the Mountains of Mourne where they’d hidden alone, Tom and his love, his brave Nancy Bell. p. 24

Waddell, The Smugglers of Mourne, pp 20-24

Tasks for 5. The Smugglers of Mourne – Guided group task (writing/reading) Monday Ahlberg: How does the author create an eerie atmosphere? How is the effect created on p.16? How does the author use punctuation on pp 14-16 to create an effect? Can you think of A newspaper headline to describe the Tuesday Browne: How would you describe the atmosphere of the story? How does the author create this? What is an excise man/smuggler ? What strategies could be used to find out meaning? Wednesday Dahl: How do you think Tom/Nancy feel at different stages of the story? Can you find examples of rhyme in the story? How can we tell Tom & Nancy love each other? Thursday Fine: How does the story make you feel? Re-tell the story from Ranaghan’s point of view. Why might he be after Tom? Think of adjectives to describe Tom/Nancy. Friday King-Smith: How does the story make you feel? Look at the picture of Ranaghan on p. 21. What adjectives would describe him? Look at word ‘light’ on p. 10. What other words could you use in its place?

Click here to see how other schools have used this text – pdf format

6. Tortoise
By Basil Payne The Poolbeg Book of Irish Poetry for Children, coll. S. Traynor, Poolbeg, 1-85371-726-6, pp 925

I had a pet tortoise oh a pet tortoise like nobody else’s (nobody else I knew had a pet tortoise). His head was hard as bark his neck (underneath ) soft as a trick fountainpen snake’s his eyes

bird-bright. I lacquered his shell to keep it fresh. He liked fresh lettuce ate it voraciously gallivanting round the garden more like a hare than a tortoise. By night I kept him in a shed. If I forgot maggots crawled next morning inside his shell

(I picked them out with a matchstick). In winter he hibernated in a box in our Coal-shed beside a black heap of top quality English coal. That was his undoing. One morning in February I found him

quite dead under two chunks of it. A pre-fab tortoisebacked tortoise-slack tomb. I buried him cried lied to myself No more pets. Next year I bought a goldfish the next a budgie the next a hamster - all three are since dead.

Pets (any more than people) are not for keeps. Beekeepers yes gamekeepers park-keepers even are aptly named bird-fanciers greyhoundbreeders horse-owners cat-lovers falconers eve - but who ever heard of a tortoise keeper?
Payne, Tortoise

7. Winter in Dublin
By D. J. O’Sullivan The Wolfhound Book of Irish Poems for Young People, ed. B. Quinn et al., Poolbeg, 1-85371726-6, p. 127

‘Dublin has a very brisky and cold average temperature. Travelling to Dublin in the summer, temperatures will be around 17oC (63oF). If you spend the winter in Dublin, you will feel colder temperatures at 5oC (41oF).’
American travel guide

Wild winter-rain comes plashing down Turning the grey street jetty-brown; Two cyclists skid, pedestrians rush, Traffic policemen curse the slush. On lamp-posts now few sparrows talk, On roof-tops now less pigeons walk; Only the Liffey sings a song And gelid hail that hops along. No shadow neath the Pillar lies, Wind-drownéd are the newsboys’ cries, Gaunt and bare all the kerb trees stand, Each tramway pole’s a Winter in wand. O’Sullivan, glinting Dublin

Tasks for 6. Tortoise & 7. Winter in Dublin
Shared write

*=

Whole class
shared reading/writing

Whole class
phonics, spelling, vocabulary & grammar

Independent group tasks
‘Winter in Dublin’

Plenary
Read ‘Winter in Dublin’ together. How does the river sing? What type of place do you think Dublin is? Ask groups to read poems. Show poems to ascertain if they are thin.

Wed

‘Tortoise’

Thur *

What type of poem is it? (Thin) Are ‘voracious’ & ‘gallivanting’ words associated with tortoises? Why does he use them? Why does he split Chn to suggest ‘hibernated’?

Add -ing, -es, -ed to words. Do they make sense? What does this tell us about this class of words? Identify adjectives, verbs and nouns as we write poem by changing endings of words.

ideas - teacher to scribe. Write a thin poem in the style of Basil Payne. Choose a pet to write about.

Give chn copy of poem without title. Chn work in mixed ability pairs to answer questions: What type of poem is it? In what season is the poem set? Where is it set - reference to Liffey gives a work (use atlas)? Chn to clue in mixed ability groups think of a title? Can you to write a thin poem based on a pet. Leave notes & poem from shared write on board as a guide to chn. Chn to type poems & print.

8. Train Journey
In Developing Literacy Skills. Year 4 Poetry, by R. Barker, A & C Black, 0-71365-872-X, p. 34

Northern Spirit train standing at York Station

English trains cannot run in Ireland. Can you see why by comparing the photographs?
Click here to find out more.

?

This is the Nine-fifteen Northern Spirit train: Newcastle, Sunderland, Darlington and York, Durham and Huddersfield, Manchester and Leeds, Warrington And Runcorn Liverpool at last.

08.35 Sligo to Dublin Connolly Station arriving at Edgeworthstown

Barker, Train Journey

Tasks for 8. Train Journey Whole class
shared reading/writing

* = Shared write

Whole class
phonics, spelling, vocabulary & grammar

Independent group tasks

Plenary

Fri* Read list poem of train journey. Discuss what poem is about. Identify syllable pattern. Why does it have this pattern. Clap out syllables to replicate sound of train moving.

Discuss spelling rule in English, each syllable must have a vowel.

Chn copy poem but replace names of English towns & cities with Irish places with the same number of syllabuses. A & B: Dahl: Five: Use atlas/map to find Irish place names with approximat e number of syllabuses. Provide list of Irish names to choose from.

Ask chn to read poems. Does Give swappin names of g places with Irish approxima te number place names of syllables. add anything to the poem?

Gaelic games 1 - hurling
• • • • • Hurling is Ireland’s national game and the fastest field sport in the world. It is played by teams of 15 men a side with a ball and sticks. It can be dated back over 2,000 years in the annals of the Celts. Irish folklore is rich with references to the game, with the Irish superhero Cúchulainn being its most famous competitor. By the sixteenth century a law was passed that forbade the tumultuous ‘hurling of the little ball with hooked sticks or staves’. This, however, did not banish, the game in Ireland and since the founding of the Gaelic Athletic Association in 1884 the sport has continued to gain in popularity, both nationally and internationally. A very physical game, hurling has been called ‘the blood-and-bandages game’. Hurling is played on a pitch usually 137m/150yd long and 82m/90yd wide. The object is to drive the sliotar (ball), 25cm/10in in circumference, through erect posts at opposite ends of the pitch. Each player uses a wooden hurley or caman, usually 1.07 m/3.5ft long, to propel the sliotar around the playing area. The erect goalposts stand 6.4m/21ft apart and are usually about 6.4 m/21 ft high. There is a crossbar 2.4m/8ft from the ground. Hitting the ball over the crossbar scores a point and a shot under scores a goal. The All-Ireland Hurling Championships are played annually between teams representing the Irish counties; the final is played at Croke Park, Dublin, in front of crowds of over 60,000.

• •

Gaelic games 2 – Gaelic football
• Gaelic football is a kicking and catching game played mainly in Ireland. Its rules are a mixture of soccer and rugby. Despite sporadic attempts to take the game to Irish communities in other parts of the world, Gaelic football is rarely played outside Ireland. The two teams have 15 players each. The game is played on field with an inflated spherical ball. The goalposts have a cross bar and a net across the lower half. Goals are scored by kicking the ball into the net (three points) or over the crossbar (one point). First played in 1712, it is one of the sports under the auspices of the Gaelic Athletic Association. The leading tournament is the All-Ireland Championship (first held in 1887). Its final is played in Croke Park, Dublin, on the third Sunday in September each year. The winner receives the Sam Maguire Trophy. Although seen as the poor relation to hurling, Gaelic football has nonetheless produced many memorable contests and teams. One team that dominated almost from the start of organised competitions in 1884 was the Kerry side. Until the mid-1980s, this side proved almost invincible. They managed to win All-Ireland titles in each decade, starting with their first in 1903. There was great rivalry between Kerry and Dublin from the 1970s. Their All-Ireland semi-final clash in 1977 is generally regarded as among the greatest games ever seen at Croke Park.

How Cúchulainn got his name

Irish Fairy Tales & Legends by Una Leavy, O’Brien Press, 0-86278-4824, pp 14-15

Two wicked eyes glittered in the shadows - it was Culann’s dog, half hound, half wolf! Setanta gripped his hurley. Wild thoughts tumbled through his head. He knew that the dog would eat him alive. There was only one chance ... As the dog hurled towards him, eyes raging, mouth snarling, Setanta took careful aim and rammed the ball down the hound's gaping throat. With a fearful screech, the dog crashed to the ground. Choking and gasping he tried to cough up the ball, but it was firmly stuck. With one last mighty shudder, he tossed his head and died. The door crashed open. Culann and King Conor had heard the dog's wild cries.... ‘I am sorry I had to kill your dog,’ he said. ‘But if you will let me, I will be your hound. I will guard your home with my life.’ King Conor and Culann agreed. Soon Setanta had another name. He was called Cúchulainn, which means Culann's hound. This was his name, ever after, when he became the best and most famous warrior of the Red Branch Knights.

Ballaghbeg
• The counties of Ireland, north and south, are divided into parishes. The parishes are, in turn, divided into townlands. Ballaghbeg is one of the seventeen townlands which make up the parish of Kilcoo in County Down. The townland of Ballaghbeg is near Newcastle and borders Dundrum Bay in the Irish Sea. On the right is a view of the Mourne Mountains from Dundrum Bay, much like that Tom and Nancy would have

IRISH SEA

Parish of Kilcoo in County Down

The Mountains of Mourne
• The Mountains of Mourne are a mountain range in County Down in Northern Ireland. They extend from Newcastle to Carlingford Lough. The highest summit is Slieve Donard – height 852m/2,795ft. The mountains are made of granite, a speckled rock – black, white and grey - with different minerals in it. It is used in buildings, kerbstones and gravestones. There is a famous ballad about these mountains

• • •

• •

The Mountains of Mourne – a ballad
1920)
Oh, Mary, this London's a wonderful sight With people here working by day and by night They don't sow potatoes, nor barley nor wheat But there' gangs of them digging for gold in the streets At least when I asked them that's what I was told So I just took a hand at this diggin' for gold But for all that I found there I might as well be Where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea. I believe that when writin' a wish you expressed As to how the fine ladies in London were dressed Well, if you believe me, when asked to a ball Faith, they don't wear no top to their dresses at all. Oh, I've seen them myself and you could not in trath Say if they were bound for a ball or a bath Don't be startin' them fashions now, Mary Macree, Where the mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea. I've seen England's king from the top of a bus And I've never known him, but he means to know us. And tho' by the Saxon we once were oppressed, Still I cheered, God forgive me, I cheered with the rest. And now that he's visited Erin's green shore We'll be much better friends than we've been heretofore When we've got all we want, we're as quiet as can be

by Percy French (1854-

You remember young Peter O’Loughlin, of course Well, now he is here at the head of the force I met him today, I was crossing the Strand And he stopped the whole street with a wave of his hand And there we stood talkin' of days that are gone While the whole population of London looked on But for all these great powers he's wishful like me To be back where the dark Mourne sweeps down to the sea. There's beautiful girls here, oh, never you mind With beautiful shapes nature never designed And lovely complexions all roses and cream But O'Loughlin remarked with regard to the same That if at those roses you venture to sip The colours might all come away on your lip So I'll wait for the wild rose that's waitin' for me Where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea.

Click here for musical score

The Songs of Percy French ed. James Healey Ossian, 1-90042-825-3. p. 31

Did you know?
English trains cannot run on Irish tracks. Irish trains cannot run on English tracks. They would not fit. Irish tracks are 5ft 3ins wide. English tracks are 4ft 81/2in wide. The wider Irish gauge was the result of a compromise. Some early railway pioneers in the north of Ireland chose a 6ft gauge instead of 4ft 81/2in, which was the law. There was a row and the government intervened and set up a committee to examine the situation. The committee decided that the standard gauge in Ireland should be a comprise between the two gauges, that is 5ft 3in. Nobody seems to know why the committee did not insist on 4ft 81/2in, which was, after all, the law.
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Map of Ireland – counties & towns