“Captain Dwyer”


Ireland is ending the slavery binding it "Since Cromwell and his damned decree." Captain Dwyer's exploits against the cavalry and Captain Byrne are recounted: skirmishes at Hackettstown and Keadun bog avenging Stratford, Baltinglass and Dunlavin.


The Oliver Cromwell reference is to the August 1652 Act of Settlement of Ireland and its consequent expropriation of Irish lands. [For background on Cromwell's subjection of Ireland, and the horrors it caused -- it was perhaps the worst atrocity committed by anyone from the time of the Roman Empire until the Twentieth Century, attempting to push all the native Irish into Connaught -- see the notes to "The Wexford Massacre." - RBW]

Hackettstown, Stratford-on-Slaney, Baltinglass and Dunlavin are in County Wicklow.

Moylan: "Michael Dwyer was a Wicklow man, a member of the United Irishmen, who fought during the 1798 rebellion, and who waged a guerilla war in the Wicklow mountains for several years afterwards." This song, unlike the others, deals with his activities in May and June of 1798. "The village of Stratford-on-Slaney was attacked on the 24th of May. Hackettstown was attacked the following day, and again one month later on the 25th of June." Dwyer's was appointed Captain commanding a company on June 24.- BS

For more on Dwyer, see the notes to "Michael Dwyer (I)" or "Michael Dwyer (II)." - RBW

Historical references

  • 1798 - Irish rebellion against British rule

Cross references


  1. Moylan 144, "Captain Dwyer" (1 text)
  2. BI, Moyl144


Author: R. R. Madden (source: Moylan)
Earliest date: 1887 (Madden's _Literary Remains of the United Irishmen of 1798_, according to Moylan)