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Ballad Of Pat O'Donnell

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The Ballad Of Pat O'Donnell Lyrics Chords The Irish Brigade.
James Carey joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood in 1861, and soon after became treasurer. In 1881 he broke with the IRB and formed a new group who assumed the title of the Invincibles, and established their headquarters in Dublin, and Carey took an oath as one of the leaders. The object of the Invincibles was to remove all tyrants from the country, and several attempts, but without success, were made to assassinate Earl Cowper and Mr. W. E. Forster.
No.1, the secret head of the association, then gave orders to kill Mr. Thomas Henry Burke, the under-secretary to the lord-lieutenant, and on 6 May 1882 nine of the conspirators proceeded to the Phoenix Park (Phoenix Park murders), where Carey, while sitting on a jaunting-car, pointed out Mr. Burke to the others, who at once attacked and killed him with knives, and at the same time also dispatched Lord Frederick Cavendish, the newly appointed chief secretary, who happened to be walking with Mr. Burke.
For a long time no clue could be found to the perpetrators of the act; but on 13 January 1883 Carey was arrested and, with sixteen other persons, charged with a conspiracy to murder public officials. When arrested he was erecting a mortuary chapel in the South Dublin Union, and the work was then carried on by his brother, Peter Carey. On 13 February Carey turned queen's evidence, betrayed the complete details of the Invincibles and of the murders in the Phoenix Park, and his evidence resulted in the execution (by hanging) of five of his late associates.
His life being in great danger, he was secretly, with his wife and family, put on board the Kinfauns Castle, bound for the Cape, and sailed on 6 July under the name of Power. On board the same ship was a person called Patrick O'Donnell, a bricklayer. He became friendly with Carey, without knowing who he was. After stopping off in Cape Town, he was informed by chance of the real identity of Carey. He went with his victim on board the Melrose in the voyage from Cape Town to Natal, and when the vessel was twelve miles off Cape Vaccas, on 29 July 1883, using a pistol which he had in his luggage, he shot Carey dead
O'Donnell was brought to England and tried for murder, and being found guilty, was executed at Newgate on 17 December.
Carey married in 1865 Margaret m'Kenny, who with several children survived him. Info. courtesy of
[D]My name is [G]Pat O'[A]Donn[D]ell
And I come from Donegal,
l am, you [G]know, a [A]dangerous [D]foe
To traitors one and [A]all;
For [D]the shooting of [G]James [D]Car[A]ey
I've [D]been tried in London town,
And [G]now u[A]pon the [D]gallows high
My [A]life I must lay [D]down.

I sailed aboard the Melrose,
In August 'eighty-three,
And on my voyage to Capetown
He was made known to me.
When I heard he was James Carey,
We had angry words and blows,
And the villain he strove to take my life
On board of the Melrose.

I stood up to defend myself,
And fight before I'd die;
My pocket pistol I drew forth,
And at him I did fly;
We fired until the second round,
When I shot him through the heart,
And I gave him the third revolver shot
Before he did depart.

Oh! Carey's wife and child came to
The cabin where he lay,
And seeing him lying in his gore
It filled them with dismay.
"O'Donnell, you've shot my husband,"
Mrs. Carey loud did cry;
"Oh, yes, I did, in self-defence,
Madam," then said I.

The captain had me handcuffed
And guarded iron-bound,
And I was kept a prisoner
'till we landed in Capetown;
I was then brought back to England,
When my trial it came on,
And the prosecutors for the Crown
Were Carey's wife and son.

The jury found me guilty,
And the judge made this replay:
"For the murder of James Carey,
O'Donnell, you must die
On the twenty-third of December
And on the gallows high;
So the Lord have mercy on your soul,
For your hour is drawing nigh." 

Ballad Of Pat O'Donnell - Irish rebel song


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