A Poem about the River Dee

By Mary O'Malley

The following was recalled from memory by the late Joe Murphy of Devlin, Killeen. It was the only information available at the time and recorded about the shipwrecked River Dee.

This in turn led to the true story being uncovered by Joe Rafferty, Roundstone, Connamara, who was a long time friend of Joe Murphy.


On New Years night in ‘71

With sadness I do recall,

On that eve the River Dee was shipwrecked,

On the shores of Barnabawn.

Alone and abandoned She had braved,

The strong westerly wind,

She set her sail to a greater cause,

For there was a roof in need of a mend.


Her bold white lettering was plain to see,

Oh, she was a credit to her maker,

How she came to the banks of Barnabawn,

No-one knows only Our Creator.

Poor River Dee hung upon the rocks,

And the hungry sea attacked her,

Such a mountain of timber,

Has never been found hereafter.


A captain somewhere, in disgrace,

Over such a genuine loss,

Oh there was wood afloat,

From Ugool to Cross.

But one mans loss is another’s gain,

And we continued to salvage all along,

After the River Dee was shipwrecked,

On the shores of Barnabawn.


This page was added by Mary O'Malley on 04/03/2011.