by Shonagh, Jack Harten and Jack Crosson (Mullahoran NS)
The priest is sitting on the chair
where once sat Pat Briody.
His beads are rattling in the dark.
His fingers are unsteady.
Much earlier on that chair
Patrick raised his hammer,
took a shoe tack from his mouth
and banged it in the leather.
That was one of many sounds
The chatter of customers and neighbours too.
A popular place to gather.
Outside the summer wind blew
and inside you could smell the glue.
It was the merry month of May
and the Kilcogy farmers were starting the hay.
A bustling policeman arrives in the cobbers,
a pair of boots on the floor he drops
‘As soon as you can, Pat’ he utters and leaves.
The place grows silent,
even the birds in the trees don’t leap.
Is that why they took you from your bed
and shot you in the heart and head?
One rifle bullet pierced your scapular
on which was inscribed
‘Whosoever dies wearing this scapular shall not suffer eternal fire’
God rest you Pat Briody.
Written by Shonagh, Jack Harten and Jack Crosson as part of Poetry as Commemoration workshops led by Frank Galligan in Mullahoran National School, Co. Cavan, in May-June 2022.