Duilliúr an Fhomhair
An autumnal leaf beautifully photographed by Eamon ÓMurchú
BK Valetting in Convent Street
An Achingly Sad Poem
I sincerely hope those days are gone but I know the poem will still resonate with many of you.
Sitting alone at the bar in Kilburn
Mid afternoon on a mid Summers day
Wearing a suit stained with blood, sweat and booze
Drinking the last of this months rent
He took the boat in 57
Leaving behind Mayo
Full of hope and fear
An address in his pocket
For a ganger and a start
Money for a week to tide him over
Sunday best on his back
New shoes squeezing his feet
No Irish need apply
Lodgings hard found
Working every hour god sent
Paid in the crown at the weekend
Missing home, laughs to hide the pain
Another from the top shelf
Saving for the summer holiday
Putting a little by
Back home for a week to the old sod
Buying pints for the lads
Bragging about the wages
Gold chains around the neck
Bought from a suitcase
When did you get home?
When are you going back?
Back to back breaking in blighty
Years passing on
Body getting tired
Drink taking hold
No money for the holidays
Or the funerals at home
Nights in the doss house
Sleeping on the rope
Days on the streets
Dreams of a long gone family
Passing away in the cold
(C) Kevin McManus
Kevin Lane has written to us from New York.
Hi, I really enjoy your blog. It reminds me of my grandparents, my father and my own roots. As I get older this is more and more important to me.
My grandmother, Teresa Connor (O’Connor?) was born in Listowel in 1899. Her family lived in Mill Lane, with another family, the Powers.
My grandfather, Edmund Lane, was born in Mountcollins, near Abbyfeale, in 1896.
They met in New York City and had two sons, one of whom was my father, Dennis Lane.
Dad passed away last year but before he passed, we had begun researching our ancestry.
I read your post about faction fighting in Kerry and vicinity and it reminded
me of a story my Dad told me about his grandfather (my great-grandfather), Denis Aeneas Lane, of Mountcollins.
He was killed by a rock thrown at his head while returning from a fair in Abbyfeale in 1903.
The only information I have seen is the newspaper snippet below, from 1903.
It doesn’t say anything about faction fighting, but it sure does sound like one.
I wonder if you have any information about faction fighting in the area around that time.
It would be interesting and help resolve a family mystery!
Regards, Kevin Lane, NYC
If anyone knows anything about this incident or indeed anything that may be of interest to Kevin, do, please get in touch.
Convent View and Convent Street