Written by Peter St. John in the 1980's. The Fields of Athenry were written about the struggle between Ireland and England. The lyrics go.
By the lonely prison wall, I heard a young girl calling,
Michael, they have taken you away.
For you stole Trevelyan's corn,
So the young might see the morn,
Now the prison ship lies waiting in the bay.
Low lie the fields of Athenry,
Where once we watched the small free birds fly.
Our love was on the wing,
We had dreams and songs to sing,
It's so lonely 'round the fields of Athenry.
By the lonely prison wall, I heard a young man calling,
Nothing matters, Mary, when you're free.
'gainst the famine and the Crown
I rebelled, they cut me down.
Now you must raise our child with dignity.
By the lonely harbour wall, she watched the last star falling,
As the prison ship sailed against the sky,
For she'll live and hope and pray
For her love in Botany Bay.
It's so lonely around the fields of Athenry.
You can see the fields of Athenry almost anywhere around the area.
Athenry train station is one of those places that looks as if it has been preserved as a 'museum' , but just has had zero investment for so long it feels that old.
The wooden canopies on both sides give in a 'picture postcard' feel and there are a number of old photographs of the place hanging around as well.
Update 2010 : new footbridge rather spoils the look now, but the essential feelof the place has been preserved.
Although this part of Ireland is littered with outdoor 'hardball' courts, i've never actually seen one in use.
The game is similar to 'fives' or squast played with the hand rather than a racket.
I thought the Athenry court was quite unusual, to say the least.
The back wall was formed by the main wall to the back of the ruined Abbey and the viewing area consisted of about six steps built up over a stream on the oppposite side of a road !
Find it by walking along the road on the town side of the ruined Abbey.
Look at the market cross............it's in the market square. It's unusual, because it has a depiction of the crucifixion. Apparently, it's the only one like this apart from on the Continent. Sadly, it's in poor condition and, perhaps, needs removing and conserving before it deteriorates any more.