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Former Rathfriland man Mark Fitzpatrick has recorded a song about a local townland, following some research he carried out on two of his uncles who lived there.

Mark now lives in Toronto himself, unwittingly following in the footsteps of his two uncles who left Drumbonniff townland in Clonduff Parish for Canada many years ago.

Mark Fitzpatrick
Mark Fitzpatrick

As Mark says "I had two old uncles who emigrated to Canada about 100 years ago. I discovered one day that one of them had been born in a workhouse in Newry. I didn’t even know there was a workhouse in Newry at the time.

"They wound up living in Drumbonniff, outside Hilltown which I expect was an improvement and I got to thinking about that. There was no heating in the houses then, there were no shops nearby and unless you had a horse you walked everywhere"

Mark also found out that neither of the men could read or write "I’m sure employment prospects were limited. Life must have been quite hard." he explains.

Following his surprise on discovering that he had a relative born in a workhouse, Mark decided to write and perform a song about it and the tune Drumbonniff was born. The song features Steve Bowen on Fiddle.

Check out the song and video below

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