The Shoemaker

by Holly and Séan (Mullahoran N.S.)

I walked into Patrick Briody’s

Opening the door all could see was

shoes, tools and more.

The crackling of the fire,

nice and warm it spired.

People would chat while their shoes

would be mended.

The window was just hanging in there

with only one pane of glass.

Only for the fire it would

be warmer outside.


One nice May day two policemen 

opened the door.

Everyone went silent.

Their shoes were falling apart from

walking day and night.

They walked up to Patrick

and handed him their shoes.

“Forget your other customers we want

these good as new”.

Patrick took the shoes and got straight to work,

As all the other customers gave him dirty looks.

Walking out in a big huff and puff.

The policemen came back seven

hours later,

grabbed their shoes and walked

to the door without taking a second look.


In a matter of days gossip broke

out about the policemen’s

regular visits to the cobbler’s hut.

Gossip about poor old Patrick

 giving them information

on the IRA.

As the rumours get stronger

The IRA start to get suspicious of him.

They had a vote to shoot him

And they voted

Six to four.


The next day he walked through

his door for the last time.

On that cold summer’s night,

At 1:20am

He was took out of bed whilst he asked

“Will I get dressed?”

But they chanted

“You won’t need clothes where you’re going”

They brought him down the road

About eight hundred yards.

He got down on his knees

and recited the rosary as he was shot.

Seventeen wounds to his body.

A paper with the words ‘Spies and informers beware- IRA

found attached to his blood laden clothes.

The scapular which he was wearing was shot into his body

enscribed ‘ Whosoever dies wearing this scapular

 shall not suffer eternal fire’

I wonder did his executors suffer eternal fire?

Written by Holly and Séan as part of Poetry as Commemoration workshops for 6th Class,  Mullahoran NS, Co. Cavan, led by Frank Galligan in May/ June 2022.