“The Murder of William Funston”


William Funston is murdered near Trillick. The Catholic Maguires are arrested for the crime. "Two purged Orangemen named Smith and Armstrong" are paid to swear against them. McGrory implicates Armstrong. The singer hopes they will be acquitted.


The song says the murder occurred near Trillick town on March 9, fair-day of Irvinestown, County Fermanagh. Morton-Maguire: "... such happenings are likely to take place when inter-religious tension is high in this country, so perhaps we can suggest sometime during the 1910s or 1920s as the possible date of this particular incident. At such times each side of the religious divide will tend to think the worst of those on the other side." Funston himself was, according to the song, an Orangeman. - BS


  1. Morton-Maguire 52, pp. 147-148,175, "The Murder of William Funston" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #2935
  3. BI, MoMa052


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1973 (Morton-Maguire)
Found in: Ireland