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John Moulden Help: Moorlough Shore (19) RE: Help: Moorlough Shore 26 Feb 01


This version originates with the Atlantic City, travel agent John McGettigan. The Keanes learned it from one of his many 78s. This song is also sung as the Maid of Mourne Shore. Locations of both Murlough and Mourne have their difficulties. Murlough is a bay in north east Antrim (west of Ballycastle) or in Co Down (Dundrum) however, there is also Moorlough - from whence Moorlough Mary - in Co Tyrone between Plumbridge and Donemanagh.

The Banks of Mourne shore can apply to the River Mourne which flows through Strabane and then becomes the River Foyle or to the Mourne Mountains. That version refers to the winds that over Martin's Hills and to the ship lying at Warrenpoint. Unfortunately, there is a Warrenpoint on Carlingford Lough to the south of the Mourne Mountains and another near Moville on the Innishowen peninsula, where emigrants from the area of the River Mourne would have boarded the ship.

After all that ambiguity, it will come as no surprise that I cannot help over Sinclair's Castle. I made strenuous search some years back especially in the area around Derry or north Donegal because there is a (or rather three[!) Holly Hill in Derry - one near Dungiven, which seems unlikely and another near Strabane; where also there is a Holy Hill, which, with the well known perversity of the people of Ulster, is probably pronounced "holly" as in the Holywood, near Belfast, which might vocally be confused with that suburb of Los Angeles. The third one is between Maghera and Bellaghy and I see quite close to that one a "Folly Hill."

Clear? I hope not.


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