Jul 20 2018

‘Granny Burke from Broombridge Road…’

Published by at 9:34 am under News

Annie Burke

Granny Burke’s Story

(Martin Coffey)

I was only five years old you know

When they took me Ma’ away

A policeman came and told me

With the Nun’s I’d have to stay

Me Ma’ went into prison

To make up for her sins

And I went to the country

To a place I’d never bin


I could see the Rock of Cashel

From my bedroom every morn

So far away

I’d have to stay

From the place where I was born

The Nun’s they all looked after me

From morning until night

They showed me how to sew and knit

And taught me wrong from right


We went to Mass each morning

Where Holy God was looking down

From on the cross where he was hanging

And on his face he had a frown

The Nun’s said that me mammy

Put them thorns upon His head

From all the bad things that she did

And the kind of life she led


I told Him I was sorry

For all the things me Ma’ had done

I felt so sad and lonely

And I told that to the Nun

She slapped my face

‘You’re a disgrace

Since the day that you were born’

She said to me

But I couldn’t see

That I’d done any wrong


So every day I went to school

With my fondest little pal

She said she was an orphan girl

From a place called Donegal

We learned to read

We learned to write

To add up one and one

And so my days were spent like this

Because of things me Ma’ had done


When I was fourteen years of age

The Nun’s they put me out

To find my own way in the world

To put food in my mouth

I went to work for Misses Ryan

In a place called Bansha Town

She had a pub, a shop, a farm

And soon I settled down

Misses Ryan was good to me

She loved me as her own

I cleaned and cooked and polished hard

The way the Nun’s had shown


I had a letter from me Ma’

From her prison cell it came

It said she missed me ever so

And I was not to blame

For things she’d done and the life she’d led

And the way things were for me

She promised that the day would come

When together we would be.


The years passed by as I grew up

The Ma’ she kept in touch

Her prison life was very hard

She hadn’t very much

Then they let her out one day

The Ma’ they’d set her free

I smiled a smile upon my face

For what was going to be


Then the sad news came one day

In a letter from Dublin Town

It said my mother’s health was bad

She was rapidly going down

She called for me from her dying bed

She longed to see my face

I longed to sit and hold her hand

And feel her warm embrace


I packed my bags and made my way

To Dublin Town by train

I said farewell to Misses Ryan

Whom I’d never see again

I left old Tipperary Town

My childhood and my youth

As my mother’s frail voice called to me

 I had to face the truth


She looked so small and frail and weak

As she lay upon her bed

“Ma” I whispered in her ear

As I gently stroked her head

Her eyes they slowly opened

“Annie” she tried to say

As she placed her hand upon my hand

And gently slipped away



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