Available_on_iTunes_Badge_US-UK_110x40_0824.jpg   <a href="<a href="">" target="itunes_store">From Collie's Banks to No-Man's Land - From Collie's Banks to No-Man's Land - Single</a>


Hi everyone, about a month ago my good friend in Perth, Fred Rea, who writes and produces the monthly magazine The Irish Scene rang me to tell me of a play a friend of his had written about an Irishman named Martin O'Meara who had emigrated from Lorrha in Tipperary to Australia in the early 1900's and subsequently joined the Australian Imperial Force when WW1 broke out.  

Fred felt that I might be inspired to write a song about Martin and Fred's daughter Fiona and himself  had begun a song already and were in the process of putting it together. Fred felt I should try to write one too as I might find Martin's story compelling. He was right, Martin's story is very compelling and heart breaking in equal measure. And Fred was right about me writing a song too because at 3am on the day I spoke with Fred and watched his youtube clip the song started to come through. This was early on the friday morning and by the Monday after, Donncha Moynihan  and myself were putting a live version of the song down on tape and a few days later Pat Crowley added his magic.

Less than a week after hearing the story the song was finished-now, I must add, that happens rarely and when it does I pay close attention because songs like that write themselves and have a life of their own so the best thing to avoid sleepless nights is to get out of the way and let it come through! and it did come through in a wonderful way-

So thank you to Fred for sharing the story, thank you to the lads for playing so beautifully and most of all THANK YOU and bless you Martin, I hope you've found peace and I hope the song is a fitting tribute to you and the friends that you shared the most difficult of times with-sleep well and dream. 


The song is available on iTunes and through the website here. 

Here's some info on Martin:

Between 9 August and 12 August 1916 at (Mouquet Farm) Pozières, France, during four days of very heavy fighting, Private O'Meara repeatedly went out and brought in wounded officers and men from "No Man's Land" under intense artillery and machine-gun fire. He also volunteered and carried up ammunition and bombs through a heavy barrage to a portion of the trenches which was being heavily shelled at the time.

Stretcher-bearers worked to exhaustion, usually exposed to fire, carrying men to the aid posts close behind the front line. During this period O'Meara, then acting as a stretcher-bearer, behaved in a manner which led one officer to describe him as 'the most fearless and gallant soldier I have ever seen'.

O'Meara was wounded three times during the war and returned to Australia on 15 September 1918, having reached the rank of sergeant.The war took a terrible toll on his physical and mental wellbeing and he spent the remainder of his life in military hospitals.

For more on Martin see also