A LARGE group of Americans visited the Cross of Spancilhll this week, part of a folk group from Michigan that travels to places they know of from songs.
Local man Michael Brohan said the visit shows the extent of the reach of the song.
“People know the song from the likes of Christy Moore and the Pogues and the great Robbie McMahon probably made it famous. It was a poem in the beginning, people think of it as a song but it was a poem at the start by an emigrant who went to America.
“Robbie McMahon brought it to life in song and since then it’s been taken up by a lot of famous Irish singers, Christy Moore, the Pogues, the Dubliners, everyone sings it, it’s probably the most recognised ballad from Ireland.
“Anywhere I’ve been around the world when people have a sing song Spancilhill is one of the first songs that come to mind.”
Michael said that the famous song is potentially something that could be used to entice tourists, particularly Irish Americans, to the area.
“It’s probably an untapped source of tourism in the area. I’ve often passed the Cross of Spancilhill and I’ve seen people in hired cars pulling in there to take pictures, looking at the words of the song.
“I’ve seen people playing music at the mural of Robbie McMahon, it’s probably an untapped source of tourism if it was promoted more with Irish Americans. It’s great to see them coming.”