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



O'Dwyer Name

"The History of the O'Dwyers"

O'Dwyer Castles

Clan Territory

O'Dwyer Music

Distribution Map

O'Dwyer DNA

Clan Association

Clan Rally 2000 Report

Links to other Irish clans......

Ryan Clan

Meagher Clan

Kennedy Clan

Murnane Clan

Links to Irish genealogy sites...

County Tipperary Historical Society

Tipperary Heritage Unit

Tipperary Libraries

O'Corrain Heraldry

    The O'Dwyers in Poetry and Song

    The following is a list of poetry and song relating to the Dwyer/O'Dwyer clan.

  •  Seán O'Duibhir a' Ghleanna. Probably the best known air, (and in many ways could lay claim to be the anthem of the clan), this is a lament in the Irish language describing the passing of the ancient ways as the O'Dwyers went into exile or hiding after the Cromwellian Wars of the mid-seventeenth century. The Seán O'Duibhir of the title is believed by tradition to have been the third son of Dermot O'Dwyer of Clonyharp Castle, the clan chief until his death in 1629. His epithet, "a' Ghleanna", remains a matter of uncertainty. Some suggest it was a reference to the Glen of Aherlow at the foot of the Galtees. A second suggestion is Glenough in the parish of Clonoulty, and finally, Glenefy near Galbally. He is believed to have gone into exile with many others of the clan along with Colonel Edmund O'Dwyer after the Cromwellian Confiscations. Two different translations into English are known to exist - one by Thomas Furlong and the other by George Sigerson.
  • John O'Dwyer of the Glen: A poem by Canon Sheehan of Doneraile. This was originally an Irish Ballad dealing with the Williamite Wars at the close of the seventeenth century, when Patrick Sarsfield was defeated at Limerick and forced into exile with many of his followers. (The search for the original Irish version has so far proved fruitless. I would be most grateful if anyone can supply it for inclusion on these pages).
  • Seán O'Duibhir a' Ghleanna: This is a set dance bearing the same name as the ballad above. It can be heard played on the uillinn pipes by Willie Clancy on The Pipering of Willie Clancy Vol II (Claddagh Records, Dublin, 1983). Also by Paddy Glackin in Coel ar an bhFidil le Paddy Glackin.
  • The Ballad of Michael Dwyer: The most famous ballad of the Wicklow O'Dwyers. It tells the story of Michael Dwyer and his miraculous escape from capture at Derrynamuck, Co. Wicklow. He was an outlaw who remained in the field after the fall of the 1798 Rising by hiding out in his native Wicklow mountains, especially around the Glen of Imaal near Donard. One cold snowy night, he had taken refuge in a group of cottages with his companions. Spies loyal to the government had informed the yeomen of his movements, and they quickly made their way to where the band of outlaws lay at rest. O'Dwyer's cottage was surrounded and a vicious exchange of gunfire ensued. One of O'Dwyer's men, Sam McAllister, was badly wounded. In the end, with the thatched roof in flames, and unable to reload their muskets due to the falling sparks, Sam urged his companions to make a break for freedom. He volunteered to throw open the door, take the full brunt of the first volley, and while the soldiers took valuable seconds to reload their barrel-loaded muskets, the gang could 'dart through them, and away!' This daring plan was carried out. McAllister was killed instantly, but only O'Dwyer succeeded in the escape. All others with him that fateful night were captured, and later shot or hanged. The cottage is still preserved and is now open to the public. A statue in the town of Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow, commemorates Sam McAllister's unselfish valour.
  • Michael Dwyer's Escape by Andy Irvine. This is a more recent composition celebrating the same remarkable episode. It appeared on Andy Irvine's album Rude Awakening (Green Linnet Records, Danbury, CT, 1991)
  • Dunlavin Green. This song can be heard on Christy Moore's album The Iron behind the Velvet (Tara Records, 1978). It commemorates the massacre which occurred at Dunlavin, Co. Wicklow on 23rd May 1798 at the outbreak of the 1798 Rising, when 36 prisoners were taken out and shot without trial by the town garrison. Among the dead were William Dwyer, believed to have been from the Stratford/Ballinacrow area, and John Dwyer of Seskin who was related to Michael Dwyer. Michael Dwyer was unknown at that time, but would later emerge as a rebel leader after the Rising.
  • Three flowers - Wolfe Tone/Dwyer/Emmet. A rebel song of the Republican type, this tune celebrates three heros who fought for Irish freedom - Wolfe Tone, the father of Irish republicanism, Michael Dwyer, the Wicklow rebel, and Robert Emmet, who headed the rising of 1803. This song has appeared on several albums, including By Memory Inspired (Derry Records, 1998) sung by Brian Moore.
  • Dwyer's Stout Ale. A poem written by Darby Ryan in 1852 extolling the manifold virtues of imbibing a stout Ale apparently brewed by a Dwyer of Bansha, Co. Tipperary and know as Dwyer's Stout Ale. [Courtesy of Donnchadh O'Duibhir, Donaskeigh, Co. Tipperary]
  • (If anyone has any additional contributions, please forward them to us - we would be very pleased to hear from you).
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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