The Big 100 My Father Never Got to See

Dad would have been one hundred today, if still alive. He would have enjoyed cashing the cheque from the President he often said. It wasn’t to be. Today we Remember a North Longford man.

He was defined by his building, most of what he made still stands, unlike what professional builders have put up that’s falling down. His brother in law was interned in the 1950’s, the last time that happened south of the border. There was no income, no social welfare for the families of the interned, to break their will.

My grandfather told him to build his sister a henhouse, so she could sell eggs. And thats how she survived, on egg money, and help of family and friends. They were tough hard times.

So, it started with a henhouse, and ended up with “The Window Crisis and the Miracle of the Porch“.

Along the way, there was a bit of smuggling – remembered in “On the Border Run“, a few bouts of fisticuffs ( “My Father, the Boxer“) and a life of hard honest work recalled in “I Have Not Seen What My Father Saw“.

As a storyteller of yarns, ghost stories and politically incorrect jokes, he was always one to leave a smile on others faces, or if not certainly an impression! He recalled stories of his cousin telling locals of the Pashtun, inspiring some of the North Longford Flying Column. The ghost stories were second to none, some of whom such as “Rattling Buckets Cant Be Seen” and the woman and children on the wall at Willie Carty’s are my favourite.

Our home place in Aughagreagh, North Longford – where dad was born and grew up

Opening Up After a Hard Two Years

Ireland is just opening up after two years of yo-yo lockdowns and restrictions…

The hero’s of this are the medics who worked with their lives at risk, the villain’s are both the government and NPHET who were as much in a power struggle of who would have the say as much as making regulations for the common good.

Many were – and some remaining are – quite bizarre.

I hope that we learn to live with COVID19 in whatever form it takes going forward. I look forward to poetry gigs in the coming months.

Remembering Civil War

Next year, we remember the Irish Civil War. The execution of Erskine Childers, the Ballyseedy massacre, Sean MacEoins excesses in Sligo…

My verses on Childers, the Sligo incidents and more still in the works are my contribution to #Treaty100.

I also remember who history forgot, McEvaddy the sentry shot in Athlone is one prime example, and I am doing research on him as I write.

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