Hillwalking and local history on the South Armagh/Louth border
Just below the Flagstaff is the Upper Fathom Road. Coming in from the Ferryhill Road/Clontigora end, the first house (old two-storey on the right-hand side) belongs to people called Matthews. There is an old-fashioned shed with its gable right out to the road. According to strong local tradition that shed was once a shebeen, but not any old shebeen. This was the establishment of Paitsí an tSléibhe, Patsy McDacker. This is where the poet and rapparee Séamas Mór Mac Murchaidh was captured by the redcoats of Johnston of the Fews and then taken to Armagh to be hanged, around 1750. He had been betrayed by
Patsy and his daughter Molly and his second-in-command Arty Fearon for various motives. You can read the full story as told by Fr Lorcan O Muiri in 1940 at the link below.
Mac Murchaidh is sometimes written 'Mac Murfaidh' . The broad ch of the name (Mac Murchaidh) is pronounced as f in south-east Ulster Irish dialect, making very little difference between the pronunciation of Mac Murchaidh in Irish and Mac Murphy in English.
Some local history >