The story of “Crotty The Robber” the notorious outlaw who made his home in the Comeragh mountains while he plundered the valleys around is well-known but here we have a poem written by William O’Donnell of 62 Fielding Road, Chiswick, London, which tells in verse how the outlaw lived and died:-
On a hill there’s a mountain sheep bleating,
O’er The Comeraghs the sun has now set,
In the valley below there’s a meeting
Of a gang who would gamble with death,
Outlaws, freebooters, marauders,
An ill-fated, desperate crew,
Astride a rock giving orders
Is Crotty, man from Sliabh gCua.
He has hampered and hated and harmed
The land-owning class of Knockmeal,
He has ambushed and robbed and alarmed
Not listening to any appeal,
His cunning and skill he has pitted
Against landlords and military too,
But no man alive has out-witted
The hard-hitting man from Sliabh gCua.
From Rathgormack and Feddins he plunders
To the far away Vale of The Nire,
From their Comshingaun lair his men thunder
With their pistols held ready to fire,
For the mail-cars and coaches are plying
With an armed guard leading them through,
But awaiting – their efforts defying
Will be Crotty – the man from Sliabh gCua.
The meeting is finally over,
One more daring raid has been planned,
The outlaws depart under cover
As darkness descends on the land,
But Norris, the traitor is thinking
He has treacherous work yet to do,
He suggests a night of hard drinking
With Crotty – the man from Sliabh gCua.
The leader accepts unsuspecting
That he’s nearing the end of the trail
That Norris the spy is expecting
A posse from Waterford Jail,
That when drunk from his stuper he’ll waken
His infamous reign will be through,
And the gallows at last will be waiting
For Crotty – the man from Sliabh gCua.
©2013 The estate of William O’Donnell (Chiswick)
For the original newspaper cutting please see below image.