Poem-Ursula McMorrow.

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      URSULA Mc MORROW Ursula Mc Morrow was born in Straduffy, Kiltyclogher, Co. Leitrim, close to the birthplace of Sean Mac Diarmada. Sean’s mother was Mary Mc Morrow and his first cousin James Mc Morrow was Ursula’s grandfather.
      She lives and works in Connemara, County Galway and her career has included health education, family support and teaching.
       
       
       
       
       

      Sean MacDiarmada

      A proud presence in my childhood,
      first cousin of my grandfather,
      of the same line
      and the Leitrim borderlands

      where secrets were closely kept,
      shadows moved in the night:
      nothing was certain.

      Keeping to the back roads,
      you moved through the countryside,
      a Gaelic League Timthire
      pledging with people
      who had never hoped to be free

      And gathered comrades among
      raveled emigrants
      in England, Scotland and America;
      careful not to make promises
      that you couldn’t keep.

      You were the mind of the revolution:
      powerful, thorough,
      watchful

      and achingly handsome,
      with astonishing wide smile
      and cobalt-blue eyes
      that said everything.

      But some scorned you as one of those
      desperadoes in the Post Office.
      Reading a bloody proclamation indeed,
      that foolish school master;
      no statesman among them,
      only trouble makers
      and those mannish women
      who followed, scenting excitement.

      Min grieved her hoped-for husband
      and the priest who loved you
      kept watch until execution;
      stifling platitudes,
      listening as you railed
      against church opposition
      and recited for the last time
      Brian Boy Magee.

      Later, unhinged,
      he roamed to Dunquin,
      and a Gaeltacht cottage,
      dedicating himself
      to the dreams of the sacrificed.

      My father was cautious about claiming you:
      not wanting to sully
      a precious association.

      A hero in the family:
      now that was something
      to be quiet about.

      Written by: Ursula Mc Morrow

     

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