Inverclyde Waulking Group - Sugar Beets & Candy Ro

Inverclyde Waulking Group - Sugar Beets & Candy Ro

Sgioba Luaidh Inbhirchluaidh (Inverclyde Waulking Song Group) perform a song they were commissioned to write about the sugar trade in Inverclyde. The song “Mìle Marbhaisg air an t-Siùcar”
Author Francis Dunlop – “My great grand uncle, James Donnelly, was born in Co. Armagh around 1844. The family moved
to Greenock when he was a toddler, at the height of the Irish famine. Some time between the ages of six and sixteen he lost his sight, and later earned his living by playing the
fiddle in the streets of the town. I shall probably never be able to find out how he became blind, but I conjecture that he may have had an accident while working in one of the sugar refineries. Two of his brothers were
sugar-house apprentices from the age
of twelve, working alongside their father, so it is possible that James did the same. In those days it was an unpleasant and dangerous occupation, with frequent accidents. The Donnelly family lived in the Greenock
Vennel, as did many Irish andHighland immigrants.
In this song I imagine a lament by a neighbour for the tragic blinding of the young boy.”

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