‘The Rugged Rocks of Islay’ © Joe Canning 2014. All Rights Reserved.

‘The Rugged Rocks of Islay’
© Joe Canning 2014. All Rights Reserved.

{Dedicated to the good people of The isle of Islay}

Slowly, silent, under sail, the Exmouth slipped away,
Gently pushed by breeze towards Atlantic.
Two hundred souls below her deck, life changing journey set to take,
and sad were some to leave despite privations.
Into Loch Foyle the Exmouth creaked,
the trip before her, eight long weeks,
prepared to face the venoms of the crossing.
On they sailed into the night with dreams of happiness in life,
not knowing that the night would wreck those dreams.
The wind did deal her hand of force, the Exmouth blew from charted course,
Despite the toils of crew and Captain Booth.
The morning would reveal an awful truth.

Battened down beneath in fright, they shrieked they screamed that April night,
An April night that would bring their extinctions.
Without her mast and shredded sail, the tempest hid the haunting wails,
the wails of doomed below in pleading prayer.
So strong the violence of the waves, that battered,smashed them, to their graves,
that hurled them ‘gainst the rugged rocks of Islay.
Engulfed then she in waters cold, all smashed as crockery, thrown to floor,
Did spill to freezing tomb all those within.

All gone all lost at Sanaigmor and from sharp rock some swept to shore,
’twas only three would live to tell the tale.
To all who dwell on Islay’s shore, we are indebted evermore,
For kind compassion to their fellow man.
The cairn on Sanaigmor today, where stranger stops and sometimes prays,
in tribute to those lost in kind remembrance.
The cairn with plate stands on the bay,
where blows the cold Atlantic spray,
Where Scotland put to rest our troubled children.

Photo: Exmoor Memorial Sanaigmore Bay Islay, photo credit: www.islayinfo.com

Friends of Ireland!

Stair na hÉireann and Joe Canning asks you to take the time to please consider supporting this very important petition.

Irish Holocaust – Not Famine. The Push to educate in facts.

We can now prove beyond doubt that more food than was required to feed the Irish people during the period (1845-1850), was exported out of Irish ports under armed guard.

This is not a petition of Acrimony, Discord or Hate, this is a petition for Truth!

Please sign with your family, and ask your friends and their families to consider.

In Proud and Loving memory of our Forefathers, and the Truth that our Children Deserve.




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Stair na hÉireann is steeped in Ireland's turbulent history, culture, ancient secrets and thousands of places that link us to our past and the present. With insight to folklore, literature, art, and music, you’ll experience an irresistible tour through the remarkable Emerald Isle.