“The Quilty Burning”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1977 (IRClare01)
Keywords: prison fire moniker police
Found in: Ireland


"Oh the burning of Quilty, you all know it well; When the barracks took fire Where the peelers did dwell." Everyone scurries to save what can be saved. "This old barracks is no harm to be gone, For many a poor fellow was shoved in there wrong"


Notes to IRClare01: "The incident that gave rise to this song ... took place around 1920, when the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) barracks at Quilty, a fishing village a few miles south of Miltown Malbay, was set alight by the Republicans."

"Peelers" are police. Apparently, the barracks served also as a jail. (For more on "peelers" in general, and the RIC in the context of the Black and Tan War, see "The Rineen Ambush") - BS

Historical references

Cross references



  1. Roud #18471
  2. BI, RcQuiBur