Barna Hill

Oh! do my eyes deceive me, or is it but a dream,
The Golden Vale of Limerick in its coat of verdant green,
A rarer sight was never seen nor sure it never will,
It’s that Golden Vale of Limerick you can view from Barna Hill.

When standing on the summit of that ancient place around,
You can view each town and city, far better than a map,
Newcastle West before me lies, Goats’ Street and Whelan’s Mill,
You can view them all from Curtin’s Lawn, at the top of Barna Hill.

You can view the River Shannon and the hills far off in Clare,
Rathkeale, Croagh and Patrickswell and lovely sweet Adare.
Askeaton, Ardagh, Abbeyfeale, Ashford and Charleville,
You can view them all from Curtin’s Lawn, at the top of Barna Hill.

To the right is Ballingarry, ’tis the chief town of the plain,
Where oft the Lord of Desmond, the stately deer has slain,
Where heroic men in days of yore, they showed their power and skill,
Let my burial place be Monagea, at the foot of Barna Hill.


“Barna Hill” is a song describing the view from Barna Hill in Limerick, which Irvine first heard sung by an old man in 1963 at a Fleadh Cheoil in Newcastlewest, County Limerick.



      1. I can say categorically it is not a Galway song or about Barna in Galway. I am from Limerick and this song has been sung locally for many many years in the towns around south west Limerick. I live near Barna in Galway now.

        All the place names are local to that part of Limerick. There is a Ballingarry in Co. Limerick. The song also speaks of the hills of Clare which are far off but visible (as the are from most parts of Co. Limerick), all of the towns mentioned are in Limerick except Charleville, which is over the border in Cork. I really don’t think you think you can see Co. Cork from Galway? Poetic license or no. But it can be seen from the hills outside Newcastle West on the N21 to Abbeyfeale. Check Google maps and the will find a townland called Old Barna as well.

        It is already stated the song was collected in “1963 at a Fleadh Cheoil in Newcastlewest, County Limerick” which makes perfect sense since it is a local song.

        Although it is at the foot of high ground there is no hill at Barna in Galway, it is a village on the coast. The place name means “gap” in Irish and there are several places with this name around the country.


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