The Shoemakers

by Brídgín, Chloe and Moya

I walked to the shoemakers and opened the door

“Patrick” I said you must fix my shoes once more

I looked around and I could see

Shoes on the workbench shining so clean,

a compass , a knife and nails on the floor,

and a hammer hanging on the back of the door.

I took a breath through my nose

and smelled the glue used for repairing the soles,

the polish, the varnish and the strong smell of smoke.

Patrick came and walked through the door.

I sat on the chair and kicked my shoes to the floor.

I lit my pipe and started the chatter,

While my shoes were getting better and better.


A few minutes past and I heard the ring of the bell,

footsteps and a cough,

a policeman enters with a beaming grin,

standing tall in his green uniform and cap.

He looked like a friendly chap.

I listened in and got suspicious.

A few more minutes and my shoes were finished.

Little did Briody know it was the last day he would mend shoes.


Early next morning I knocked on his door,

told him that he didn’t require his clothes,

we walked him 300 yards down the read

and shot him a total of seventeen times.

One bullet went through his scapular 

and pushed it through his chest,

on which the words were written

‘Whosoever dies wearing this scapular shall 

not suffer eternal fire’



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

Image: Excerpt from Bureau of Military History Statement by Witness Commandant Hugh Maguire (WS 1387).