“Michael Dwyer (II)”


"Have you heard of Michael Dwyer and his mountain men?' Dwyer fought when "our flag went down And the nation's hope was banished." Ireland won't have Liberty again "till we strike like Michael Dwyer and his mountain men"


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." - BS

Peadar Kearny was the author of, among other things, the Irish national anthem "The Soldier's Song," as well as such pieces as "Whack Fol the Diddle (God Bless England)"; for more on him, see the notes to the latter song. It is perhaps no surprise to find him writing in praise of a covert warrior. Dwyer also attracted the attention of T. D. Sullivan, author of "God Save Ireland," who wrote "Michael Dwyer (I)."

As a historical figure, Dwyer was less important; of the five histories I checked, only Robert Kee's _The Green Flag_ mentions him, and only to note that he was a Catholic (unlike many leaders of the 1798 rebellion), and that after the United Irish collapse, he fought on in the Wicklow Mountains until about the time of Robert Emmet's rebellion.

According to the _Oxford Companion to Irish History_, his dates were 1771-1826; he surrendered to the British in 1803 and was transported to Australia. He became High Constable of Sydney in 1815. He does not seem to have been notable in that post (none of my histories of Australia mention him) -- but I find it somewhat ironic to imagine the former outlaw commanding the forces responsible for tracking down outlaws and bushrangers. - RBW

Historical references

  • 1798 - Irish rebellion against British rule

Cross references


  1. Moylan 143, "Michael Dwyer" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. BI, Moyl143


Author: Peadar Kearney (source: Moylan)
Earliest date: 2000 (Moylan)