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KATHERINE O'MORE. AKA and see "O'Moore's Fair Daughter," "Hawk of Ballyshannon (The)," "Hawk of Lough Eirne of Ballyshannon (The)," "Port Athol (2)/Port Atholl." Irish, Planxty (2/4 time). F# Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. Words in English and Irish were set to the melody by the blind Irish harper Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738). Carolan's tune, however, is a reworking of an older melody by Rory Dall (O'Cahan), and well known among harpers. See note for "Hawk of Ballyshannon (The)," the title (in Irish, "Seabhac na hÉirne) Edward Bunting used in his Ancient Music of Ireland (1840). There are a variety of versions and titles for it, in both languages.
The tune was almost universally attributed to Rory Dall by the harpers at the Belfast Harp Festival in 1792, who also knew it was Dall's "Port Atholl (2)". Unfortunately, O'Sullivan (1958) points out, there is no surviving copy of that melody to compare it to (Carey's copy of "Port Atholl", concludes O'Sullivan, "cannot be regarded as authentic"). Hardiman's and Hugh O'Donnell's accounts of the origins of Carolan's song are dismissed by O'Sullivan, who demonstrates that the bard's song celebrates the wedding of Charles O'Donnell, son of Colonel Manus O'Donnell (County Mayo), to Katherine O'More, niece by marriage of Conor O'Reilly of Ballinlough (County Westmeath). By her marriage she became the sister-in-law of Anne MacDermott Roe (Mrs. Anne MacDermott Roe) and Hugh O'Donnell (Hugh O'Donnell).
Source for notated version: The manuscripts of Collector Edward Bunting  (1773-1843), who noted tune and words from harper Arthur O'Neill [O'Sullivan].
Printed sources: Complete Collection of Carolan's Irish Tunes, 1984; No. 134, p. 95. O'Sullivan (Carolan: The Life, Times and Music of an Irish Harper), 1958; No. 134, p. 173.