“Dan Curley”


May 18, singer hears Dan Curley's wife crying. Curley is being executed for the Phoenix Park murders on the word of the informer, James Carey. She wishes Carey be evicted, his wife be a widow, and his children wander homeless. She will join Curley soon.

Historical references

  • Chronology of the Phoenix Park murders (source: primarily Zimmermann, pp. 62, 63, 281-286.)
  • May 6, 1882 - Chief Secretary Lord Frederick Cavendish and the Under Secretary Thomas Henry Burke are murdered by a group calling themselves "The Invincible Society."
  • January 1883 - twenty seven men are arrested.
  • James Carey, one of the leaders in the murders, turns Queen's evidence.
  • Six men are condemned to death, four are executed (Joseph Brady is hanged May 14, 1883; Daniel Curley is hanged on May 18, 1883), others are "sentenced to penal servitude," and Carey is freed and goes to South Africa.
  • July 29, 1883 - Patrick O'Donnell kills Carey on board the "Melrose Castle" sailing from Cape Town to Durban.
  • Dec 1883 - Patrick O'Donnell is convicted of the murder of James Carey and executed in London (per Leach-Labrador)

Cross references

  • cf. "The Phoenix Park Tragedy" (subject: the Phoenix Park murders) and references there


  1. McBride 19, "Dan Curley" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. BI, McB1019


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1988 (McBride)
Found in: Ireland