The O'Dwyer Clan
Virtus Sola Nobilitas     [Virtue alone enobles]



O'Dwyer Name

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Ryan Clan

Meagher Clan

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Michael Dwyer's Escape

Andy Irvine
From his album "Rude Awakening"

Michael Dwyer is my name, I'll not deny the same

In the mountains of West Wicklow I was born

I was in a fight of late with the men of '98

And we took Enniscorthy by storm

When the rising was put down we very quickly found

That in our own homes we could no longer dwell

But many's a lonely cave some form of comfort gave

And the people of these mountains know us well


The snow was falling fast and the night was far advanced

When the three safe houses came in view.

The weather was severe but a guard was posted near

Though the dangers on a night like this were few.

But some sneaking little spy to his master he did fly

And may I live to even up the score

For when we awoke to be sure it was no joke

To find a hundred Highland soldiers at the door


Come out you rebel band cried the captain in command

For you do not have a prayer, not a hope

Surrender to me now and your lives I vow

Will be spared the bullet and the rope

Says Dwyer to his men "Boys here we are again

Though I'm afraid this time it cannot be denied

It would take more than God's grace to defend this place

From a regiment of soldiers outside"


The house was set on fire with McAllister and Dwyer

Expecting to perish in the flames

With the powder and the smoke they were nearly overcome

Crying "A curse upon your bloody Highland games"

From behind a stable wall, a well aimed musket ball

Caused McAllister pain he could not hide

As his gun was blown away, he looked down with dismay

At his arm hanging useless by his side


He says "Dwyer I'm done, hand me up your gun

Let's see what a spring you can make"

As he opened the door he gave one loud roar

"I die for my country's sake"

The volley rang out and Dwyer sprang forth

Poor Sam received the fire

O, generous and brave McAllister gave

Up his life for Michael Dwyer


Before they could reload he was halfway down the road

With a kilted Scotsman snapping at his heels

The troopers held their fire till they saw what might transpire

And they watched as Dwyer tripped him in the field

Running like a mountain goat - no trousers, no coat

His bare feet were bleeding to be sure.

As he crossed the Black Banks he offered hearty thanks

And got safely to a cave in Glenmalure


We lost three men that day our captain got away

And the others surrendered on the spot

Three of them alas were hanged in Baltinglass

The others went to face the firing squad

Dwyer fought the law, five years, maybe more

'Til at last to Dublin he did go

And from there he set sail bound for New South Wales

Far from the County of Wicklow.

O Dwyer Clan Homepage

18th - 20th September
Bru Boru

Cashel, Co. Tipperary Ireland

"The O'Dwyer Diaspora"
A book featuring experiences and stories of O'Dwyer emigrants

To enrol as a member of the O'Dwyer Clan, Click here to download membership form.

O'Dwyer DNA Project
The O'Dwyer DNA project is now up and running.
Click here for details