They left their mother

They left the family home

And went to murky Manchester

They left the western foam

Nothing there but poverty

No future in those fields

They had to strike for far away

See what the future yields


They found domestic service

And then they met a war

Kept Manchester moving

Made their homes afar

Travelled back most every year

Their mother to embrace

But home was now in England

Among a foreign race


Now my mother’s daughters

Are back in old Mayo

Life has turned full circle

Funny how things go

The call of home never goes away

Erris knows its own

Our hearts are in the old place

No matter where we roam


Brian Fahy

18 October 2022


+ ‘They’ are my mother and her sisters. Four girls went to Manchester in the 1930s – Katie, Bea, Eileen and Sheila. Their children, the Manchester cousins, knew one another very well, growing up.


Erris, the place they left behind, is a stunningly dramatic corner of northwest Mayo. All my summers have been spent there.  

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