Where do you think the Wild Colonial Boy came from? Like all Kerry people I believed (and still do) that Jack Duggan ‘was his name’, he was born and bred in Ireland in a place called Castlemaine’. But last night on TG4 there was a counter argument that shock, horror, not alone was he not from our Castlemaine but that he never existed – he was a figment of the imagination.
We are now told that the song was composed about ‘Jack Doolan’ of Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia. Fromm our side though, we had it from the horses’ mouth, well from Mollie Doyle (97) who was interviewed in 1962 that she went to school with Jack, ‘he was a great singer, and a good scholar’. But dates get in the way of a good story sometimes. We genealogists often come across a similar problem.
However the people from Castlemaine, Victoria seemed to be much more certain of their dates and facts and they are stating definitely that Jack Duggan never existed – their boy Jack Doolan is the hero of the song or in fact the anti-hero.
So watch the clip from Scéalta ón Ríocht (Tales from The Kingdom) and let us know what YOU think.