From The Finnow Bridge To The Feirm Bridge

From the Finnow Bridge to Feirm BridgeBetween Millstreet Town Bridge and Feirm where my life’s journey began
Where I went to school from and I grew into a man
The changes keep on happening there or so I have been told
But everything it changes and we grow frail and old.
In the early thirties when my dad returned from the U S he hailed from Lisnaboy
He bought the farm at Claraghatlea off of Cashmans it was his pride and joy
Before marrying Mary Agnes Dinneen she was from Rathmore
I am going back in time now fifteen years with the three score.
The second youngest of six boys and four girls eight of us living today
Far from my old home in Claraghatlea the years have left me gray
And though most of them by now have lived their final Fall
The mentors of my childhood years I often do recall.
The ‘Masters’ Sullivans Con and Dotie and Denis and Pad
None of that family left in Claragahatlea that does seem a bit sad
Though the youngest of Con and Dotie’s children Theresa Kelleher still lives in Millstreet
It does feel sad to think that her I may never more meet.
Jack the Master and his son Jackie and his daughter Mary O
And Mary’s daughter Peggy O Deere who died a few years ago
All are now with the departed in eternal rest they lay
And the biological clock on the living it keeps on ticking away.
Denis Corcoran and his wife Maud, Denis as a young man carved his own renown
Honoured for an act of bravery many miles from Millstreet Town
And the clever woman Hanora Moynihan she lived on her own
For her talents she did not crave recognition the reason she was not better known.
Johnny Hickey and his wife Lizzie and John Joe Daly and his wife
They were kind and helpful people and they did know about life
Mary Creedon, the Callaghans, Mrs Donoghue and the painter Johnny Mac
I recall them from my young years when I go down memory track.
Neily Joe Murphy and his good wife kind as one could wish to meet
They raised their children at Inchaleigh near the old Town of Millstreet
And Mrs Neenan mother of Willie and Jenny and John D
In my flights of fancy walking up the Town Hill she is one I often see.
Bina and Tom Taylor and the Donovans though them I never more will see
I recall them as they once were they live in my memory
And the late Finbar O’s wife Peggy hale and hearty and still living with the family
She has borne life’s heavy crosses with the outmost bravery.
Willie and Betsy Murphy and Dan and Mrs Breen
And Jack, Dan and Nora Sullivan in my memory evergreen
And the late Denis and Margaret Kelleher do readily come to mind
I feel privileged to have known them they were generous and kind.
Peg and Den Looney though long deceased in my memory do remain
And in my visualizations they come to life again
Their daughter Eileen and Denis Healy raised their children in Claraghatlea my old home-place
Where I grew into manhood and mine was a known face.
Dan Joe Duggan and his Mrs to the Reaper have long gone
But thanks to their daughter and her husband Dan Connors their seed in Claraghatlea lives on
And Mary Annie and Matty Owen and his wife Hanna with the departed lay
But for each and everyone of us a final night and day.
Mrs Cashman and her sons Stephen and Jimmy and her youngest the ageing Father Dan
A humanitarian and a missionary and a very saintly man
They lived in Inchaleigh by the Hospital the furthest from the Killarney Road I wish to stray
In my Millstreet to Ballydaly memories at least in this rhyme anyway.
Frankie Reen and his wife Marie I believe are well and strong
And though Denis Murphy is now deceased in human years he did live long
And Barry Walsh and Madeline I believe are fit and well
They live in the house by the gate to Tubrid where angels are said to dwell.
Neily Duggan and Charles and Eileen Cooper I believe are doing okay
Though Breda Hickey nee Burke Tom’s wife did not live to grow old and gray
And Connie and Ann Hickey have been together for some time
Their children now young people in their life’s physical prime.
Liz McAuliffe wife of the late Johnny, Fitzpatrick was her maiden name
The grand-daughter of Matty Fitz of the Irish Land League fame
Jimmy Twohig and his wife Kathy nee Creedon to the Reaper are long gone
But through their son James and his wife their seed in Annagloor is living on.
Jack and Tim and Nonie and Molly Dennehy all lived to a great age
And Ned Twohig lived a long life he was a wise old sage
His wife Elly and her brother Connie Dennehy never distant from my mind
They were honest and hard working and down to earth and kind.
Padraig Cronin I remember was a good hard working man
In the family home in Annagloor he lived most of his life span
And Jer Long and Mary in their cottage by the river raised their family
But the past as always is the case only lives in memory.
Tom and Kathleen Mulcahy raised three daughters and four sons Kathleen in eternal rest now lay
And in Annagloor the Mulcahy name is living on today
Thade Sullivan and his lovely wife people worthy of recall
For each and everyone of us there is a final Fall.
The Hickeys, Taylors and Finbar O’s for years I have not seen
Or James Sullivan, Maureen, Breda or Jerry Kelleher and the school teacher Pat Breen
Or the Murphys or the Mulcahys or Longs only the memories remain
Of people in the place where I was raised that I may never see again.
The Coopers and the Twohigs, the McAuliffes Mary and John P
Or Jimmy Looney Jack Andy, Jimmy and D J Sullivan I may never again see
Jack Looney, Johnny and Julia Sullivan, Johnny Connell and his wife
Them I always will remember till the last day of my life.
Breda Tarrant raised her children in the house where the Moores and Dennehys before them lived, Jamie, John, Michael and Collette
I recall them as they once were them I never did forget
But only few things stay the same one the babble of the rill
That flows down to the river from the high field by the hill.
Many people from west of Millstreet in the World have travelled far and wide
But perhaps Matt John Murphy and his Mrs in Claraghatlea do still reside
To the Towlands of my boyhood the Seasons come and go
Where old Clara in the Winter often wears his hat of snow.
In some parts from the Finnow Bridge to the Cails Bridge It undulates up and down
The roadway that goes to Kerry from Duhallow’s Millstreet Town
From Inchaleigh, Claraghatlea, Annagloor and Feirm many faces I recall
And many of them sad to say have lived their final Fall.

by Francis Duggan

The Finnow Bridge is the bridge as you leave Millstreet on the Killarney Road (just after the turn off to the Community School). Feirm Bridge is the last bridge before you come into Ballydaly from the Millstreet direction.

11 thoughts on “From The Finnow Bridge To The Feirm Bridge”

  1. Fond memories of wonderful people, gratefully received and enjoyed in New York, sent from Australia!!
    Thank you Francis.

  2. Hi Frances, thanks for all the lovely poetry. i really enjoy it. Brings me back to my old days in ferim.I had lovely days in your house with Noreen and Maergaret at stations. They used to put on such a spread and were so welcoming. I tasted my first bit of fresh salmon in your house for tea,one Sunday evening. Mam loved your Mam She always told us that they were related.Neily was very good to visit Mam in the years before she died. We have a daughter Edel married and living in Sydney. We have been out twice and going again in Feb. pg. Kind regards Ann.

  3. Thank you Margaret Sheehy? i presume in N Y for your kind words and thank you Ann for your recent kind comment seem that you are living a bit of a drive from the Killarney Rd Ann in Birr Co Offaly but you do have good memories of the place yes indeed i do believe we are cousins your uncle Michael Mahony in Sliabh Luachra used to tell us a long time ago if this be so the honour is all of mine to be related to you, i suppose you did know Joan Long our former neighbour she passed away recently, so sad to read of her passing she would have been close to your age maybe six to seven years younger than me such a beautiful person she was may she rest in peace, anyway to you Ann and to Margaret happy New Year.

    F Duggan

  4. MR. Duggan
    My name is John Andrew Sullivan, I live in Raleigh, North Carolina, I was born and raised in Queens, New York, Mom and Dad came from County Cork, Dad from Millstreet, and Mom from Ballyhea.
    Dad,brother David, and sister Marie came to America. Dad was a carpenter performened his apprenticeship in Millstreet,uncle David went out West then returned to Millstreet, and opened a pub, aunt Marie raised four children.
    Because of Millstreet i.e. I was able to launch off to many sites, and look up Dads birth date, Grandfathers birth date, and marriage, Great Grandfather was Andrew Sullivan from Feirm, Grandfather was John Sullivan from Annagloor, Grandmother was Mary Breen from Clarghatlea. First born was Andrew, then John (my Dad), David, also the 1901 census shows a Denis, I never knew of him, my Grandfather was Jack Andy my namesake.
    Your poem “From the Finnow Bridge to the Feirm Bridge” mentions all the names from your chidhood time in Millstreet, the Sullivan’s and Looney’s, Dads best pal was Mick Looney (he and Dad were born in 1898), I would have to quess the Sullivan’s from Annagloor were my cousins or was Jack Andy my Grandfather? Mom was the communicator between the Sullivan’s of Millstreet, and New York, so I never knew much about the folks in Ireland. Mr. Duggan thank you for you view into the Ireland I never knew. John Andrew Sullivan

  5. Hi.

    I’m afraid I’m no relation, but I just had to comment on your Ode.

    What a brilliant way to remember the place you called home and the people you loved so much!

    Your tribute was absolutely fantastic!

    My father is from Baile Mhic Íre (near Ballyvourney)and as I spent alot of my youth there, I know just how impressionable the people of West Cork are.

    Seamus O’Donoghue.

  6. Hi Francie Duggan,
    I really enjoyed your poem From the Finnow bridge to the Feirm bridge. It brought back alot of memories of those who are long gone. Hope you are keeping well and life down under is agreeing with you! Kind Regards,

    The Brave Phil !!

  7. Thank you John Andrew and Seamus and Phil.

    For your kind words on From The Finnow Bridge To the Feirm Bridge, the name of The Brave Phil brings back happy memories of you Phil, the name we knew you by when we were younger don’t know where it came from but it is a good name nevertheless, would like to take this opportunity in passing on my condolences on the passing of your sister Joan, she was Jer and Mary Long’s
    baby of the family and your youngest sibling do pass on my condolences to Noreen, Denny, Nelly and Kitty and Joan’s family members on your very sad loss,

  8. Hi Francis, Your poem ‘From the Fennow Bridge’ brought back many happy memories of long summer days spent in Annagloor. With my uncle Jer Long, his wonderful wife Mary and all my cousins. We played many childhood games together. Fetched drinking water from the local well, spent hours trying to catch fish in the river, which ran only feet from the front door of the cottage. We could time my uncle’s return from work by the Cork-Kerry train puffing away in the distance.
    These are fond memories that have stayed with me all my life.

    I enjoy all your poems about Millstreet and it’s wonderful people. Keep them coming!

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