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Irish Pier wins Tasmanian Award

Award Details:

I was very pleased to be informed last month that my son, Chris, and I had won Tasmania's major annual folk song-writing award, The Mike Silverwood Memorial Prize for our song, The Irish Pier. Chris wrote the music and I wrote the lyrics. The song is about the Irish rebels, Thomas Meagher and Kevin Izod O'Doherty. All the major Irish rebels sent to Van Diemen's Land were confined to specific districts (Meagher to the area around Campbelltown and O'Doherty to the Oatlands area.) The Blackmans River which runs through Tunbridge formed the dividing line between their districts. Meagher came up with the idea of the two meeting for lunch provided by the Tunbridge publican with each of them remaining on their own side of the dividing line with a table made from large flat stones between them. Meagher dubbed the middle pier of the bridge at which they met, the Irish Pier.

Song Lyrics:


On a summer’s day by the Blackman’s

Two rebels came to dine

Toasting the Tunbridge Irish Pier

With a glass of the Inn’s best wine

A druid’s altar for a table

Straddling the border line

O’Doherty in his district

And I fixed firm in mine

Chorus 1

Raise you glass to the Blackman’s River

On a map it may divide

But it’s flow it sings of freedom

And the strength of Irish pride

Verse 2

Winter winds may rattle windows

Of the old wooden inn

But it won’t defeat the diners

By the Tunbridge Irish Pier

Though potatoes might grow cold

And the gravy may congeal

We’ll drink a toast to Ireland

By the Tunbridge Irish Pier

Chorus 2

Raise your glass to Ballingarry

And O’Briens famous stand

We’ll sing and pray for Ireland’s cause

In this far southern land

Repeat Chorus 2

Repeat Chorus 1

More on the History Behind the Song

To read more about the Irish rebels sent to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) go to

To read Thomas Meagher's work, Meagher of the Sword, in which the information on the Irish Pier appears, go to

Listen to an excerpt from the song

To listen to an excerpt from The Irish Pier and other originals from The Blue Mosquitoes soon to be released CD go to

Views: 68

Tags: Blue Mosquitoes, Irish Pier, Kevin Izod O'Doherty, Mike Silverwood, Thomas Francis Meagher, Tunbridge, Van Diemen's Land

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Comment by David Boon on December 5, 2010 at 11:01
Thanks Gerard, The best part about the award was achieving this with my son and also in honouring the memories of those whose only crime was patriotism for their country. Next time I travel to the north of Tasmania I will take a phto of the bridge and post it in my blog
Comment by Gerard on December 5, 2010 at 10:43
I'm glad for you (all of you). Congratulations for the award and... thanks for the story.

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