Garryhill pairing of Adrian and Derek Ryan created history on the 9th of March 2005 by winning a song contest organised to find a flagship song for County Carlow which could be used for tourism and sporting occasions.

The original idea for this musical journey began forty-one years ago when Peter Connors from Ballyloughan was working in Manchester. Longing for home and listening to songs from other counties he said it was time Carlow had its own song! He joined forces with Mrs. Margaret Byrne-Minchin President of CHAS and in association with his company CLG Developments, this unique competition was made a reality.

There were 112 Entries featuring over 100 County Placenames and Landmarks. Entries came from England, Australia and 17 different counties in Ireland. Out of 112 entries 12 Songs were chosen for the Final and these final 12 included Songs from both Adrian and Derek.


On the Gala Night which was held in the Seven Oaks Hotel both songs were performed by Derek and you could hear a ‘pin drop’ when Derek took to the stage, as he had the attention of the capacity crowd from the minute he started. The winning song was entitled “The Red Yellow and Green” and won the hearts of the audience, and the judging panel which consisted of Pete St. John, Leo O’Kelly, Niall Toner, Kathryn Thomas and Vivienne Connolly. On announcing first place RTE’s Kathryn Thomas described the song as “An out and out winner from the Start”. Following the announcement champagne corks popped and Adrian and Derek celebrated with family and friends and a prize winner’s cheque for €5000.

The Red Yellow and Green

A cock crows
A daffodil grows
Another dew glazed morn
A church bell rings
A blackbird sings
A Carlow emigrant is born
With footsteps of a child I leave my home behind
Nestled in Mount Leinster standing tall
It’s a sign of the times, my friends I have no choice
But to answer this hope giving call
Follow me to wear the red yellow and green
Far over the sea
Follow me and by God make sure you’re seen
When your heart’s lying somewhere in between
The red yellow and green.
Bright lights and crowds surround me now
From Garryhill a far far cry
But one flash in time the River Burrin is mine
Where I went fishing as a child
As it flows peacefully through priceless scenery
No foreign sights compare
It’s a sign of the times it’s just a memory in my mind
Here I am living on a prayer
Follow me to wear the red yellow……..
A cock crows………..


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