Castlemaine, Co Kerry, Ireland. Home to the Wild Colonial Boy

Castlemaine, Co Kerry, Ireland. Home to the Wild Colonial Boy

Jakc Duggan's Bar, Castlemaine, Co Kerry, Ireland

Jakc Duggan's Bar, Castlemaine, Co Kerry, Ireland


About Us

est. 1849

A Hotel has been trading in this building since 1849. That’s 20 years after Jack Duggan (The Wild Colonial Boy) broke out of Bathurst Gaol to become a bushranger and just a few years before the Gold Rush. 

Originally named The Daniel O'Connell Inn, a local publican and cooper, William Fowler was the first Owner.
The Inn's name was changed to The Commercial Hotel in 1859 and most recently, to Jack Duggan's Irish Pub in 2008.



The Commercial Hotel in George St Bathurst, NSW, Australia, was purchased in 2008 and in a record 3 weeks, it was renovated and reopened as Jack Duggan’s Irish Pub. It is owned and run by Irish publican and licensee - Glyn Daunt and his wife Helen along with Chef of Irish renown - Shannon Barrett and restaurant manager - Peter Barrett.

The name was chosen because of its strong Irish-Australian connection and rich history. “We wanted to open a real Irish pub that would also be a great Australian local” says licensee Glyn Daunt. “My wife Helen grew up a few miles from Castlemaine - the Irish birthplace of Jack Duggan - who was The Wild Colonial Boy and in the Australian version of the folk song, it says that Jack escaped from Bathurst Gaol!! – we loved the connection of this legendary bushranger with both Ireland and Australia and of course with Bathurst.”

Since it opened, Jacks has been receiving rave reviews. Its famous warm Irish welcome, friendly staff, imported beers and top quality live entertainment have been a huge hit with the locals. Residents of the Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Orange, and even Sydney now regularly make the journey to Bathurst to savour a pint at Jack Duggans bar and a meal from Ma Duggan’s Kitchen.

The Wild Colonial Boy

The Wild Colonial Boy is one of Australia’s best known bushranger ballads. It is also an old Irish Folk song. It celebrates the deeds of a young Kerryman called Jack Duggan (also known as Jack Doolan, or the "Bold" Jack Donohoe), who was born in Castlemaine, Ireland in 1806 and was sentenced to be transported to Australia for life for 'intent to commit a felony'. Brought to Australia in chains, our Jack soon bunked out of his convict stockade in Bathurst and turned bushranger.

With his gang of fugitives, Jack Duggan led them on a spree, stealing horses from settlers and bailing up the unwary from Bathurst to the Illawarra and some say, even as far north as the Hunter. The Jack Duggan gang were known for their stylish dress, as they exchanged clothes with people in the coaches they held up. They eventually became so notorious that a special patrol was formed to hunt them down. Aided by dozens of sympathisers Duggan evaded capture, but he was finally caught 18 months later, in 1830, by the troopers near Bringelly and gunned down.

Within weeks ceramic effigies of Duggan were being sold in Sydney - a mark of his fame. To his admirers, then and now, he was “The Wild Colonial Boy” – a son of Ireland, taking on the ‘System’ and making a mockery of it. The ballad appeared soon after his death and was such a focus for popular discontent that soon it became a civil offence to sing it in any public place. 

Australian authorities banned it's singing in beer shops and taverns.  

The Wild Colonial Boy

(The Irish Version)

There was a wild colonial boy, 
Jack Duggan was his name
He was born and raised in Ireland, 
in a place called Castlemaine
He was his father's only son, 
his mother's pride and joy
And dearly did his parents love
the wild colonial boy

At the early age of sixteen years, 
he left his native home
And to Australia's sunny shore, 
he was inclined to roam
He robbed the rich, he helped the poor, 
he shot James MacEvoy
A terror to Australia was
the wild colonial boy

One morning on the prairie, 
as Jack he rode along
A-listening to the mocking bird, 
a-singing a cheerful song
Up stepped a band of troopers: 
Kelly, Davis and Fitzroy
They all set out to capture him, 
the wild colonial boy
Surrender now, Jack Duggan, 
for you see we're three to one
Surrender in the Queen's high name, 
you are a plundering son
Jack drew two pistols from his belt, 
he proudly waved them high
I'll fight, but not surrender, 
said the wild colonial boy.

He fired a shot at Kelly, 
which brought him to the ground
And turning round to Davis, 
he received a fatal wound
A bullet pierced his proud young heart, 
from the pistol of Fitzroy
And that was how they captured him, 
the wild colonial boy