The Shoemaker

by Kara, Anna and Etain (Mullahoran N.S.)

Patrick Briody the shoemaker at the end of the lane,

With one of the shop windows

missing a window pane,

See the leather, the shoes, the fire

a small table and chairs,

and all the different materials he uses for the repairs,

Smell the dust, the timber, the glue,

The strong, sweet smell taking over all of you,

Feel the bristles of the brush and

Patrick always working as if he’s in a rush,

Tap, tap, tap away,

While the sun fades for another day,

Some come for new heels,

Some come for new soles,

Some come for new stories that haven’t been told,

When a policeman comes in with a friendly grin,

Patrick stops what he’s doing to kindly greet him,

Next thing he knows there’s a threat on his shoulders,

By the local IRA soldiers.


Until that one faithful night,

Pat was all tucked up in bed,

not realising that he would soon be found dead,

At one o’clock that morning Patrick Briody was marched

away from his house,

away from his daughters and away from his spouse.

He picked up his scapular and they chanted

“No need to get dressed”

He hastily tied his boots while his wife stood there distressed.

They marched him down the little lane to

the cross of the roads,

where he was later shot seventeen times.

One shot into his scapular which read,

“Whosoever dies wearing this scapular

shall not suffer eternal fire,”

He is now laid down to rest.

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