My parents were from Wicklow and Wexford so all our travels to visit relatives were down in that direction. That is where we went on holidays too.
We knew little about the road to the west
West was wherevour next door neighbours hailed frome, Sligo to be exact – they often asked my mother (famed for her recitations) to say “The Lake Isle of Inisfree”;
West was where my grandmother went on an annual pilgrimage – Knock sometimes taking me her eldest grandchild with her;
West was the road through Kilock which featured in the story of my mother’s return from Australia and her conscription in the Presentation Convent Wexford to recite “The Lay of Kilcock” at the Feis Maitiú. The poem remained hidden in her repertoire until I became a teacher in Kilcock and was then introduced to the poem. The same poem was also in the repertoire of one of my teaching colleagues and how wonderful when she recited it for me after supper in Shalom on my last week as Príomhoide.
A LAY OF KILCOCK.
by J AMES M LOWRY.
Was admittedly one
Who came from a very old stock,
From where In the County Kildare,
Stands the famous old town of Kilcock.
So devoid of all grace,
And wholly addicted to evil,
It was said
Of the living and dead,
All save he had gone straight to the Devil.
Never went on the spree,
And in virtue stood firm as a rock,
He preserved a pure tone
In that wicked town of Kilcock.
To eternity passed
From the troubles and sorrows of life
Who left, just think of that,
Twelve children and only one wife!
They tolled out his death.knell,
And things went on the same as before,
With all speed that might be,
Presented himself at Heaven’s door.
Brought a turn of the lock,
And the Prince of Apostles came out;
Said Saint Peter, ” are you
And what business have you come about?”
For Saint Peter looked wroth,
Said poor Pat, like a prisoner in dock
“My name Is Pat Dunn from the town of Kilcock.”
Said the saint, takin’ stock,
And he shook his head, doubting the story.
Too soon thought he had won
His reward in the kingdom of glory.
Said the sturdy old rock,
“There’s a town of that name in no nation.”
“Sir, be aisy in that,
‘Tis a Midland Great Western station.”
” I’11 look,”
Said the saint. ” in my hook.”
And he turned back the key in the lock;
In the County Kildare,
Sure enough he discovered Kilcock.
You’ve the better 0f me,
Tho’ I thought you were trying to mock;
Said the saint with a grin,
“You’re the first that ~ come here from Kilcock.”