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Lament for Dr Tommy Daly

by Bryan MacMahon (1909-1998; Kerry)


On the wind'swept Hill of Tulla,
Where the Claremen place their dead,
Four solemn yews stand sentinel
Above a hurler's head,
And from the broken north lands
From Burren bleak and bare,
The dirge of Thomas Daly
Goes surging on through Clare.

No more shall limewhite goalposts
Soar tapering and tall
Above the greatest goalman
That ever clutched a ball.
Nor yet he'll rouse the echoes
Of ash in native air,
Nor heed the throbbing thousands
Tense with pride of Clare.

But wherever Clare does battle
And whoever guards the goal,
Whene'er the citadel is saved
The proud, the noble soul
Of sterling Thomas Daly
They shall recall and say
"God rest you Thomas Daly
On your wind'swept hill to-day".

To think that never once again
He'll don with lightsome air
The claret-gold of Tulla
Nor the blue and gold of Clare.
-Perhaps they'll pray when feasts are high
And healed the wounds of fight,
"God rest you Thomas Daly
On your wind'swept hill to-night".

The years shall silver temples
Of hurlers young and free
Till blows the long, long whistle
Of the eternal referee,
Then up the hillside lonely
They're borne with funeral tread,
To the wind'swept Hill of Tulla
Where the Claremen place their dead.

Beyond this place of toil and tears
Beyond this plain of woe,
There is a bourne in Paradise
Where all the hurlers go,
And there in prime they're goaling
And race across the sod
And thrill our dead forefathers
On the level lawns of God.

On the wind'swept Hill of Tulla
Within whose breast so deep
With dreams of Resurrection Morn
A thousand hurlers sleep,
And with them Thomas Daly
Four yews above his head
On the wind'swept Hill of Tulla
Where the Claremen place their dead.


Dr. Tommy Daly was born in 1894 and resided at the square in Tulla. He died tragically on Monday the 21st September 1936. He played in right All-Ireland finals, wining five (four senior and one junior). He won his first All-Ireland medal in goal for Clare in 1914 in the Junior final.

Source:- An Raithneachán, Gaelic Quarterly Review,
No.3 December 1936 (National Library)
Air: Down Erin's Lovely Lee or She lives beside the Anner

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Clare Literature