A man called Harold Delaney composed the song "My Inchigeela Lass".  He was a Fenian who was on the run and happened to be at Mass in Inchigeela Church one Sunday morning when the church was surrounded by soldiers and yeomen who were ready to capture him.  A young girl called Máire Uí Rathailligh, who was related to Delaney, took him to the bottom of the church and exchanged clothes with him. Delaney went out dressed as a woman and was not recognised by the soldiers.  He headed for Cobh and boarded a ship for America.  The song "My Inchigeela Lass" is a song of praise about this girl Máire.


My Inchigeela Lass


I greet you proud Iveleary's sons and daughters fair and true

Assembled at the south-end club, old friendships to renew,

This annual opportunity I'm loth to let it pass

Ere I recite a tale to-night of my Inchigeela Lass.


Iveleary ah, how sweet your name rings in an exile's ear

Tho'I've not seen those heath clad hills those five and twenty years,

T'was there I met my heart's delight one Sunday morn at Mass

As I knelt in prayer in the chapel there with my Inchigeela Lass.


She was modest as the cooing dove and gentle as the fawn

That roam over Desmond's storied heights, those highlands o'er Gougane

No goddess fair in Grecian days in beauty could surpass

My winsome rogue, my Máirín Óg, my Inchigeela Lass.


Like all the boys along the Lee I joined a rebel band

And pledged myself to freedom's cause for dear old motherland

An outlaw, I was chased from Cork to Keimaneigh's famed Pass

And forced to flee from Erin's Lee and my Inchigeela Lass.


Before I from my native land for ever would depart

I slipped beyond the soldier's lines to the darling of my heart

Her pictures on the moonlit lake that mirrored as in glass

The pattern queen of sweet Keimeen, my Inchigeela Lass.


Over Muskerry's heights and Shehy slopes a waning moon shone pale

As I clasped her to my heart that night in Keimeen's emerald vale

And when inside her cottage door her nimble form did pass

T'was the last I saw of my Cailín Breá, my Inchigeela Lass.


I sped thro' Inniscarra's groves before the dawn of day

To a passage in a Yankee ship that in Queenstown Harbour lay

The Captain being a Fenian bold my safety to compass

And the ship set sail from Gráinne Mhaol and my Inchigeela Lass.


Oh, what became of Máirín Óg, Iveleary's fairest flower

She drooped as drops the May bloomed leaves, belated Winter showers

The Autumn trees had shed their leaves as they laid her'neath the grass

My promised bride, Iveleary's pride, my Inchigeela Lass.


Were I beside the Lee to-night I'd quickly find the spot

Where Máirín smile brought sunshine to her widowed mother's cot

The smile that lit the eyes of my sweet Cailín deas

Still cheers my way, I will always pray for my Inchigeela Lass.


Iveleary, ah Iveleary, far away across the wave

You own what I prize most on earth, my Máirín's moss-grown grave

My present habitation is in Broadway, Boston, Mass.

And the Buachaill Rua is always true to his Inchigeela Lass.