Western People

 

I am of the western people

Of Mayo long ago

Of Glencullen and of Muinguinane

Carey lands I know

Of Doolough and Cloontiakilla

Where Mary Gaughan lived

My grandmother’s mother

The Gaelic tongue alive

 

That takes me back to famine times

And the people who lived then

Whose names and whose faces

Are lost beyond my ken

But people who belong to me

And I belong to them

And proudly I remember now

The bogland and the glen

 

And over on my father’s side

It’s western people too

From Westport way and Newport way

A place called Slinaunrue

A Fahy and a Loftus

Made their home back there

Again I reach to famine times

When food was all their care

 

And people out the Sligo way

And a girl from Monaghan

Complete my list of origins

As far back as I can

I belong to western people

From way out west I came

And I’d travel back tomorrow

If we could meet again

 

Brian Fahy

8 February 2022

 

+ This outburst is prompted by reading today an article by Brendan Hoban in the Western People, where he talks about the famine days and about his research into those times, where he makes connections with his own family. His book, Ocras The Great Famine in Killala Diocese is out now.

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