Monday, 31 March 2014

Paddy Drury remembered and St. Patrick's day in South Carolina; The Listowel Connection

The Times they are a changin'"

The clocks went forward one hour at the weekend. We have always used this phrase but it struck me on Sunday that it is now true. I woke up on Sunday morning to find that all the clocks in my house had adjusted themselves to the changed time. They had "gone" forward literally. The twice yearly ritual of going round the house and manually resetting the clocks will be another story to tell the grandchildren. Woe betide you if you forgot to reset the time on the video recorder!


Paddy Drury

A poet and wit who is remembered in many of the best Listowel stories and anecdotes is the late Paddy Drury. One Sunday recently, my good friends, Anne and Liam Dillon invited me to lunch, and, to complete a very pleasant afternoon, they took me to see Paddy Drury's resting place in Knockanure graveyard.

His grave lies within the walls of the old Knockanure church.

The graveyard is an old but very well maintained one in an absolutely beautiful rural location.

The late Dan Keane  wrote a poem to Drury and here it is for you:

Drury’s Ghost       Dan Keane

Down Farran by the old churchyard
One night I took a stroll
As bright aurora’s crimson beams
Flashed upward from the pole.
From the red wine of remembrance
To the dead I drank a toast,
Then what appeared beside me
But Paddy Drury’s ghost.


At length I uttered, “Drury
What brings your spirit back?
Is there anything you’re needing? “
He answered, “Not a whack!”

“But the friends I loved are parted
And the scene is not the same.
There’s a dozen homesteads missing
Down along my own Bog Lane.
How I loved each thatched white cottage
When their silent signals spoke
Like a fleet of ships in harbour
Belching out their morning smoke.”

“I’ve met all the friends in Heaven;
Drurys, Dores, the Nolans, Nashes
Fiddler Creed and Dancing Billy
With his legs as loose a ashes,
Tade and Jim and Dick ,the Villain
Dan the Bucko from the Lane,
I’d a pint in Peter’s parlour
With my old friend, Daniel Kane.”

“I have toiled with many farmers
When the grub was really bad.
I’d never live for ninety years
But for the teeth I had.
But the frame was getting older
And the teeth were getting few
So I found my stimulation
In the stuff I couldn’t chew.

So I said, “You are in Heaven
And what more can mortals crave?
Do you know you’ll soon be honoured
With a headstone o’er your grave?
He betrayed no foolish flatter
Gave a jovial exclamation
In the quaint old Drury fashion
“Hope ‘twont raise my valuation?”

“ Let the human fad be honoured,
It will do no harm there
And some pilgrim might, in passing
For the Drurys say a prayer.
Otherwise, above my ashes
I’ve no asset to my soul
And if  Drury still was living

They’d begrudge him draw the dole.”

The poem is a very long one so I have edited it a bit but I kept the references to Drury's neighbours in Bog Lane, the reference to his legendary grumbling about bad grub, his capacity for drink and the fact that his headstone was paid for my monies raised by his friends, among them  John B. Keane.


St. Patrick's Day in South Carolina

This is Maeve Moloney Koch taking part in her local St. Patrick's parade in Columbia, South Carolina, USA. Maeve is carrying a Kerry flag.

Maeve with her local congressman, Joe Wilson


If you live or have ever lived with an Irish Mammy this will give you a good laugh:

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