This shanty is "exclusively Irish", according to James N. Healy's Irish Balalds and Songs of the Sea. Healy's version is identical to that printed by Father Joseph Ranson in Songs of the Wexford Coast (1948). Healy identifies a few of the names:
Bob Kirwan and Belton Hayes were butchers in Wexford. The Learys are still in the town and Bob Brennan's son was later Director of Radio Eireann.
I got this song or shanty from Johnny Hoy, aged about eighty years, of High St., Wexford, when he was in the Co. Home in April, 1943. It is incomplete and one would like to have come across the rest of it. Bob Kirwan and Belton Haves were butchers in Wexford.
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The Montague packet left Wexford at ten. With a fine stock of cattle and a fine crew of men Ch: Hee, Ho, Heave away, ho.
She sailed down the river so gay and so grand, Till she came to the Dogger and stuck in the sand.
Bob Kirwan cried out, Oh, what's to be done! I've lost my fine cow that I bought in Taghmon.
Jack Leary, six sheep and young Belton, a cow, Nickie Byrne, a big goat, and Bob Brennan, a sow.