Turlough Óg O’Boyle was the son of Count O’Boyle, Crannógbuí, Ardara. His residence at Faugher gave him facilities for hunting and fishing in the neighbourhood of Doe Castle, the residence of Maolmuire MacSweeney. Aileen, the daughter of MacSweeney, evinced a strong affection towards O’Boyle, which so displeased her father that he sought the life of Turlough Óg. In his deadly displeasure he succeeded, but too well, as the following lines show…
Wild are thy hill, O Donegal, that frowning darkly rise.
As if to greet the mist that falls upon them from the skies;
Dark, dark thy hills, and darker still thy mountain torrents flow,
But none so dark as Maolmuire’s heart in his Castle Hall of Doe.
Fair are thy plains, O Donegal, and calm thy winding streams,
That gently flow by hut and hall beneath the bright sunbeams,
But plain or stream or meadow green or flower upon the lea,
Were not more mild than Maolmuire’s child, so sweet and fair was she.
Stout grows thy oak, O Donegal, and straight thy ashen tree,
And swift and tall thy sons so tall, thy country’s pride to see;
But oak or ash or young men all that sprung from Irish soil,
Were not more stout, swift, straight and strong than the Chief of Clan O’Boyle.
He was the pride of Faugher side, near the hills of Ballymore,
For feats of strength none equalled him from Fanad to Gweedore;
And he would go through frost and snow on the merry Christmas Day
With ringing cheer to hunt the deer from his haunts in dark Glenveagh.
In his little boat O’Boyle would float a fishing he would go,
With hook and line to Lackagh stream that runs near Castle Doe.
High in the Castle tower his loved one lay confined,
And on its lofty battlements in sorrow deep she pined.
At the Castle strand two boats lay manned to wait the rising tide,
Maolmuire there in chief command right cowardly did hide.
And when O’Boyle his homeward course steered by the Bishop’s Isle,
They were waylaid and a prisoner made of fearless young O’Boyle.
They brought him to the Castle, in strong irons he was bound,
And by Maolmuire was confined in a dungeon underground.
But in a few days after inside the graveyard wall
Four stalward ruffians bore a bier wrapped in a funeral pall
Poor Aileen in her tower above beheld the mournful scene,
In mute amaze she cast a glance on the Castle graveyard green,
All pale and death beside a mound of freshly risen soil;
The pall removed she there beheld the features of O’Boyle.
Then with a shriek she madly leaped from the tower to the ground,
Where by her faithful waiting maid her corpse it cold was found.
And in Doe Castle graveyard green, beneath the mouldering soil,
Maolmuire’s daughter sleeps in death with Turlough Óg O’Boyle.
April 28, 2017 at 7:42 am
Absolutely lovely even though it’s a sad tale.
LikeLiked by 1 person
April 28, 2017 at 5:55 pm
Top parenting tips from the Suibhne clan #SweeneyPride