Cursed Crossbreakers of Ballinalee

A tale of sectarian attack by Orange Order members on a grave of a sister of Thomas Newcomen Edgeworth as it was in a shape of a cross, which they saw as Catholic… Here is the story on the Irish Folklore Commission

Saint Johns Church of Ireland Ballinalee
Saint Johns Church of Ireland Ballinalee, where the Edgeworth woman was buried…

The Celtic cross it stood over his dead sister
Tomás Edgeworth mourned in Kilshrewly
His parishioners who hated all things papish
Looked on her memorial angrily.

Plotted they did one night to come
They came, men with sledgehammers and crowbars too,
Took in turns the cross to smash
Being Orangemen loyal and blue…

The morning came and the word went round
Kilshrewlys door bore an ashen brother
“Who and why such things would do
To a girls grave round which her kin mourning gather?”

He hastened to the Catholic priest Father Brady
Knowing well it was not his flock
Them both though differing faiths were firm friends
The Ballinalee curate was too in shock!

Bridge on the grounds of Kilshrewly House, home of Thomas Newcomen Edgeworth
Bridge on the grounds of Kilshrewly House, home of Thomas Newcomen Edgeworth

“Take it from me” Father Brady assured Tomas
It will be avenged inside the year
Priests have powers beyond the holy it is said
By those who know such a curse to fear.

Hamilton and the smasher crew
Knew sickness in the arm,
He who smashed the left arm, his left arm rotted
Ditto the right, so all came to harm.

He who smashed the head of a tumor died
Who smashed the foot, walked no more and too passed
So panicking seeing his comrades fall
To confess and repent went Robinson, the last.

A penance to him was given
And the curse by him would pass
He was to stand to meet and greet the Catholic parishioners
Each Sunday at Ballinalee chapel after mass.

His penance he served for the seven alloted years
True as his word he came to no harm from the curse
So the tale is told that how bad your deeds to another you do
A priests spell on you can bring even worse.

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