THE ROMANCE OF CON TINNEY
James Mc Loughlin wrote a very long poem of the above title. Con was a man of the people. He fell in love with the daughter of Squire Wilkie. She returned his love but her parents were indignant and ordered her to marry a Captain of the "Yoes" who lived in Ballintra.
Molly, the daughter was heartbroken but she had to obey. She was placed in a carriage and accompanied by her father and driven to Ballintra for her marriage.

Near Castlefin Con lay in ambush and when the carriage approached he attacked and captured it . Leaving the squire and the coachman on the road he drove to Glenfin where he married Molly.

After the ceremony, the Yeos surrounded the chapel and arrested Con. He was rescued from them and after many adventures he was re-united with his wife and forgiven by her parents.

The following is an account by the Justice of the Peace of Donaghmore, Rev. Robert Spence.

"Hue and Cry" for Con Tinney

Whereas to me, the Rev. Robert Spence, a Justice of the Peace at Donaghmore, sworn information of a grave offence this day committed, Squire Wilkie bore; in that he, being in the peace of God, and of our Lord the King, was by a man, in suit of gray and leather buskins shod, upon the road that passes through Durban, assailed,and that his daughter had been taen; likewise the carriage and his horses twain. That he , the aforesaid felon did draw near, armed with a bludgeon, and with ill intent put the said Wilkie in great dread and fear and peril of his life to great extent; then with his daughter and his equipage fled to some place, to him, the squire unknown; shunning the highway traversed by the stage, and leading to the westward from Tyrone: nor hath the fellow apprehended been, nor other trace of him hath yet been seen. You, therefore, these are given to command the power of the twons(?) forthwith to rouse within your precincts and on either hand make search as far as solid land allows to find the felon mentioned heretofore; and make ye hue and cry and fresh pursuit, nor cease pursuing till ye reach the shore as well by men on horse and men on foot until the malefactor shall be caught and to the presence of a justice brought.
Fail ye not, therefore, this to execute upon the peril that thereon ensue; and that ye may not, to this warrent I put my signature as surity to you that this is given `neath my hand and seal, within the county of Donegal, this day, which is described by time's revolving wheel as Saturday the 21st. of May, Anno Domine 1824.
Signed,
RobertSpence J. P. at Donaghmore .

Some opening verses of "The Romance of Con Tinney".

1. From Castlefin the highway
Runs northwards to Raphoe
Near which lived Con Tinney
Some twelve decades ago
Who, from his gray-haired father
Before he reached his bloom
Had learned to twine the wrap and woof
And man his sire's loom.

2. Once at a competition
Some twelve townlands among
Con brought the prize for homespuns
To his home in Sessiaghlong
And good old Molshie Tinney
Wept tears of joy and pride
To hear the neighbours praise her boy
Whose fame spread far and wide.

5. Now the slopes of Crohan,
Fanned by the eastern breeze
There stood a gorgeous mansion
Within a clump of trees
Wherein lived Squire Wilkie
A Yeoman Captain's son
And many a bloody deed `tis said
Old Wilkie's sire had done

7. Con Tinney in his rambles
Was often wont to go
Adown the slopes of Crohan
And there he came to know
The Squire's blue-eyed daughter
With the long black glossy hair
And often in the twilight
Did she steal to meet him there

9. Her father might object to him
Her mother might persuade
Tis true he was a Roman
And a weaver too by trade
She knew she'd lose her portion
Three thousand pounds, nay more
She'd be disowned- yet love for Con
Such trifles overbore.

11. About this time a landlords son
Who lived near Ballintra
Was Captain of the Yeomanry
Then stationed at Ardstraw
This man met Squire Wilkie
And soon became a friend
And thus he came to Crohan
A holiday to spend

FRANCY THE FIDDLER

Francis Kelly who died at Liscooley about 10 years ago was a blind fiddler who travelled from place to place, playing for coppers and singing songs of his own composition. His ballads were in great demand at fairs, markets and gatherings. The following one is entitled ;

"Killeter Fair".
Attention, honest country folk a wee while if you please
And I'll sing you a verse or two
To amuse you at my ease
It's all about a handsome maid
To find her equal would be rare
And the first place that I met her
Was in Killeter Fair.

Chorus

Oh, her eyes they shone like diamonds
And her cheeks were like the rose
She is my first and only love
No matter where she goes.
She stole my heart completely, boys
The truth I must declare
And the first place that I met her
Was at Killeter Fair.

`Twas on a bright May morning
And everything looked gay
As I went to Killeter
A few hours there to stay
And soon I spied this handsome maid
With lovely golden hair
I thought she was an angel
Come to Killeter. (Chorus)

Now we have got married
And are happy as you know
We always feel light-hearted
Let it either sleet or snow.
As she sits about the fireside
She laughs quite hearty there
Saying, "John the first place that we met
Was at Killeter Fair". (Chorus)

We are blessed with a family
Two girls and a boy,
They are the sunshine of our home
Our hearts' delight and joy.
The young one, it will join and laugh

And say while in the chair
"The first place that you met Mamma
Was in Killeter Fair". (Chorus)
Folk History Menu