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Stories & Poems
The Slopes of FinnaghyBack to Top
I tilled my fathers gardens in the springtime of my life
I had to harrow what he ploughed and his horses for to drive
With a rein hung on my shoulders one horse looked back to see
If ‘twas safe for me to cultivate the slopes of Finnaghy.
Behind a team of horses my father had great skill
He sowed and reaped the harvest for farmers in the hills
To thistle thorn we paid no heed ‘twas picturesque to see
As he made the sheafs while cutting corn on the slopes of Finnaghy.
‘Twas in the school at Coolderry when a youth my dad did shine
He shared good books with another youth destined to be sublime
After fifty years they met again in nineteen fifty three
When that world famous churchman returned to Borrisoleigh.
In my dreams I saw a reaping goat in the dyke down memory lane
A spear and jackson crowning knife that caused us much back pain
A horse drawn mower engine my tearful eyes did see
‘Twas used to power the mowing bar on the slopes of Finnaghy.
When Woods Pierce Doyle and Bamford made their dream machines
And Case had built a thresher and an engine powered by steam
Harrison McGregor had a major part to play
And the trusted horseface shovel still working every day.
I’ve dried my tears and realised ne’er them times will come again
John Deere have left the Waterloo boy sitting in a drain
To see the modern tractors doing fifty mile an hour
The working horse lost at great cost to tractor super power.
All Irelands gallant farmers you are legends of the land
God only knew what you went through your industry to expand
‘Twas horses now ‘tis tractors what ever next will be
An aeroplane dropping robots on the slopes of Finnaghy.
By Patrick Oliver O’Halloran. The Ragg,
Air to Dear Old Barney Hill.
My Leyland Leopard Truck
I drove an old Leyland Leopard with rust she was peppard
By the Suirside down Thurles way
She was one of a fleet on the road hauling beet
That big cat would be purring all day.
Her suspension and engine are well worth a mention
I bought her in Cork by the Lee
She had many balled tyres, leaking cab and loose wires
And I drove her all over tax free.
With fifteen tons of beet I joined the long fleet
By the factory out in Ballycurrane
Through the weigh bridge wash in and the weigh out again
With pulp for Mountview Barnane.
An hour to unload I was back on the road
Bound for Nenagh via Borrisoleigh
With its great golden valley winding road lovely scenery
How ‘simply terrific’ to see.
A corned beef dinner to me was a winner
I eat it out on the high way
I’d eat a big tin sure glutton’s no sin
With fag butts I’d fill the ash tray.
Sugar import beet export and beet haulage transport
T’was me and my Leopard’s down fall
We parted best friends on a hill hairpin bend
Coming down the Curlew mountains great falls.
What a loss to beet growers they were the seed sowers
Sugar factory workers and all
Only in memory lane our four factory’s remain
Many Happy New Years to you all.
By Patrick Oliver O’Halloran. Inch.
The beautiful handicraft is haunting my dreams
Adorning our country's bright colourful scenes
City town country village stone wall hedge rowan tree
Combining with nature where ever you'll be
Restaurants street furniture both tidy and neat
Where tourists and locals each other do greet
And the great hanging baskets of colourful flowers
Dangling oe’r sidewalks midst copperbeech bows
To slumber neath sunshades on riverside seats
Where silence is golden in the soft summer breeze
Or to climb with the pilgrim through heather sweet thyme
Up high rocky mountains to icons divine
Whilst touring the country by road and rail train
Take a little time out of life's busy fast lane
Look out your side window great scenic to view
And sip a small sup of the old mountain dew
If you'd like to meet leprechauns ghosts or banshees
I can put you in touch with the great seanchai
They live in the mountains by brooks braes and streams
Where they sell bottled folklore from off licence shibeens!
'Tis in field of legends and Croke's field of dreams
We watch soccer rugby and GAA games
Domestic and wildlife everywhere you can see
Round the picturesque homesteads of this great country
Many great world leaders behind our Taoiseach did stand
In his successful search for peace in Ireland
The pages of history great names will unfold
Of who sat round the table for the green white and gold.
by Patrick O'Halloran.
Old Battery Wireless & Michàel O’Hehir
You followers of football and hurlings fast play
That old battery wireless was a gem in its day
Then Radio Eireann would announce oe’r the air
They were handing us over to Michàel O’Hehir
The roar of excitement as O’Hehir set the scene
The Artane boys band came oe’r like a dream
He hoped we could hear him at home and elsewhere
The old wireless brought poetry from Michàel O’Hehir
From all over Ireland and Croke Park sublime
O’Hehir gave his listeners a real thrilling time
Round that old battery wireless seated on sugàn chairs
We captured the spirit of Michàel O’Hehir
Nineteen forty seven in New Yorks polo grounds
Cavan beat Kerry to win the All-Ireland crown
What great Gaelic football described oe’r the air
Via that old battery wireless by Michàel O’Hehir
In the GAA birthplace where the river Suir flow
The famed Semple Stadium saw the greats come and go
When we charged the wet battery and bought a dry spare
We were then every ready for Michàel O’Hehir
O’Hehir you sent greetings far over the blue
To Chicago, Melbourne and Montreal too
We now send you greetings best wishes so rare
Farewell battery wireless and Michàel O’Hehir
Patrick Oliver O’Halloran