The Wild Rose of Lough Gill


A tale of the Irish war in the seventeenth century (1641-1652), whose main character is Edmund O'Tracy, the son of the head of the O’Tracy clan in Ulster.


The Wild Rose of Lough Gill, published in the 19th century, is one of the most popular novels ever published in Ireland. It is a fast-moving, romantic story of love and hate, war and kidnapping, cities besieged and gory battles with Cromwell stalking-the land.


Strife-torn Ireland of the time of Owen Roe O’Neill is the setting for this haunting story of Edmund O'Tracy and Kathleen, his Wild Rose, two young lovers caught in the terrible events of the age. It was Ireland's tragic fate to be the battleground for much of the power struggle between the English King and his Parliamentary enemies, between the Puritans and the adherents of the old faith.


As the ravages of war swept the country from Donegal to Waterford and from Sligo to Dublin, Edmund and Kathleen saw pillage and slaughter, knew capture and imprisonment, and watched the Cromwellian grip fasten on Ireland.


Their story is a vivid re-creation of one of the most turbu­lent periods in Irish history and seldom has a romance of such breathless excitement been combined with such a realistic picture of the time. This intriguing story ends shortly after the fall of Galway and the scene is set partly in Co. Sligo (near Lough Gill).


Patrick G. Smyth was born in Ballina, Co. Mayo. Besides his novels he wrote poetry for several Irish periodicals between 1876 and 1885. He emigrated to America in 1889 where he worked for some time on a Chicago news­paper.


It is now the name of a festival held in Manorhamilton, County Leitrim every August.


Smyth, Patrick Grehan (1883) The Wild Rose of Lough Gill.



Last update: 18 March 2010