The Excise Officer resident in Gweedore in the 1890s, when on a visit to the townland of Lettercaugh in the Upper Rosses, accidentally came across a still-house in the townland of Meendernasloe in the Lower Rosses. He was seized and confined in an unoccupied house until the poteen fully manufactured had been safely removed, and he was the liberated. He at once went to the Royal Irish Constabulary (Police) Barracks, Annagry, where he recounted his adventure of the night, and gave a description of the poteen-makers. The following come-all-ya was written in the 1930s.

Constable M. Walsh RIC while stationed in Annagry circa 1900  copyright Bridget Sharkey McGlynn

In a deep and lonely mountain vale convenient to Dungloe

Poteen was a-making some forty years ago.

Patrick Rodgers was the maker on a dull November day,

When the Gauger from Gweedore he chanced to pass that way.


To an empty house he was consigned until the dawn next day,

Then he had permission to pass upon his way.

To Annagry, snug village, in haste he did repair,

And in the Barrack day-room his adventure did declare.


The constables in eagerness searched town-lands short and tall,

From Bunaman to Meenaleck, and on to Meenascawl.

Ranafast was not forgot-nor neglected Loughanure,

But gone were the poteen makers across the lonely moor.


Rodgers, with Herrighty, they crossed th’ Atlantic foam

To seek far off comforts they were denied at home.

Sweeney went to Scotland, but a prisoner home was brought,

His trial he stood in patience-his destiny was wrought.


A servitude in prison away from his friends so dear,

His wife and lonely children bewailed with many a tear.

Rodgers by accident returned to Erin’s shore,

But was not long in residence-he crossed to Arranmore.

ss sligo
Steam Ship Sligo copyright Sligo Library

Thence on the steamer Sligo he sailed to Glasgow town,

And so returned in safety, while the law did on him frown.

God grant him health and plenty on the far Columbia’s shore,

The man who tricked the constables and the Gauger from Gweedore.