The Castlebar Races (Jig)

The "Castlebar Races" refers to one of the few victories in the 1798 Rebellion. French forces under General Jean Humbert, along with Irish rebel forces under Colonel Bartholomew Teeling attacked British forces under General Gerard Lake from an unexpected direction outside of Castlebar, Co. Mayo, on August 27th, 1798. The British forces were routed and fled the battlefield in haste; some did not halt thier flight until reaching Athlone, almost 80 miles away. This precipitous retreat became known as "the Castlebar Races".

The Franco-Irish forces were surrounded by superior British forces and defeated about a week and a half later at Ballinamuck, Co. Longford. The French were allowed to surrender, and were later repatriated. The Irish were shown no quarter; those who were not killed or escaped the battle were imprisoned and later hung.

The importance of the 1798 Rebellion is shown in many instances in Irish Folk Memory, including several ballads and tunes, as well as centennial commemorations in 1898 and bi-centennial commemorations in 1998.

McDermott's Handy

Note: While this sheet music is provided for reference and convenience, I would take it as a personal favour if you would find a local musician to teach it to you or a local session where you could hear it played. This will enable you to learn the phrasing and ornamentation for your instrument which generally is not notated here. The best way to learn Irish traditional music is by ear, by listening to and/or learning from a musician experienced in the genre. At the very least, you will want to memorize the tune so that this page would be superfluous. This version is a version that I played at the time I created this page; it may not be the same as the version I currently play, and it may not be the same as the version with which you are familiar. Go raibh maith agat; Thanks!

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