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Hello and welcome to this week’s virtual walk.

I will bet that many of you have been to an Irish sing song and someone has sung the famous words ” Come back Paddy Reilly to Ballyjamesduff “.
So, for today’s walk we are off to County Cavan to visit the town of Ballyjamesduff that is immortalised in the song.
Ballyjamesduff is a market town located in the heart of the County, lets park and have a look around. The town is more or less a crossroads with the Market House that was built in 1815 dominating the main square. Nearby take a look at the statue of Percy French , who lived from 1854 to 1920 . He lived in the town and was the inspector of drains for the County . He is best known as a songwriter and painter, and many of his comic songs are still sung to this day Including ” come back Paddy Reilly ” .

As we walk around the town have a look at the many, many pubs. It’s said that at one time Ballyjamesduff held the dubious honour of the highest number of pubs per person – with one pub per 34 inhabitants !! .. but nowadays like so many rural towns it’s a shame to see a decline and several abandoned buildings.

However , lets walk to the outskirts of the town and we will find a real treasure , the Cavan County Museum. Located in the former St Claire’s Convent the museum was opened in 2014 and is a real treasure trove of historical artefacts that trace the history and folklore of the county back over 6,000 years to the present day .
In addition they have a fine First World War exhibit , including replica trenches , so visitors can get a real understanding of the horrors of warfare.
Also they have a reproduction of the Dublin General Post office from where the 1916 insurrection was led that brought Irish freedom. We could spend house looking at the exhibits – this is a real gem, and I can recommend a visit .

Before we go let’s take a stroll down the Nun’s walk, that was originally part of the convent grounds and this will lead us though woodland paths which will lead us back to the car .

As we go along we should sing the famous song penned by Percy French …, so take care until next week , Stephen

The Garden of Eden has vanished they say,
But I know the lie of it still.
Just turn to the left at the bridge of Finea,
And stop when halfway to Cootehill.
‘Tis there I will find it, I know sure enough,
When fortune has come to my call.
Oh, the grass it is green around Ballyjamesduff,
And the blue sky is over it all!
And tones that are tender and tones that are gruff
Are whispering over the sea,
“Come back Paddy Reilly, to Ballyjamesduff,
Come home, Paddy Reilly, to me.”
My mother once told me that when I was born,
The day that I first saw the light,
I looked down the street on that very first morn
And gave a great crow of delight.
Now most new-born babies appear in a huff
And start with a sorrowfull squall,
But I knew I was born in Ballyjamesduff
And that’s why I smiled on them all!
The babies a man now, he’s toil-worn and tough,
Still whispers come over the sea,
“Come back, Paddy Reilly, to Ballyjamesduff,
Come home, Paddy Reilly, to me.”
The night that we danced by the light o’ the moon,
Wid Phil to the fore wid his flute,
When Phil threw his lips over “come agin soon,”
He’d dance the foot out o’ yer boot!
That day I took long Maggie by the scruff,
For slanderin, Rosie Kilrain;
Then marchin’ him straight out of Ballyjamesduff,
Assisted him into a drain.
Oh! sweet are me dreams as the dudeen I puff,
Of whisperings over the sea:
“Come back, Paddy Reilly, to Ballyjamesduff,
Come home, Paddy Reilly, to me.”
I’ve loved the young weeman of every land,
That always came easy to me;
Just barrin’ the belles of the Blackamore brand,
And the chocolate shapes of Feegee.
But that sort of love is a moonshining stuff,
And never will addle me brain;
For bells will be ringin’ in Ballyjamesduff
For me and me Rosie Kilrain.
And all through their glamour, their gas, and their guff,
A whisper comes over the sea:
“Come back, Paddy Reilly, to Ballyjamesduff,
Come home, Paddy Reilly, to me.”

You can see all my photos from our walk over on my facebook page – stephenwalshconnemaramarble

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