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John Carthy

By Mattie Lennon

God rest your Soul John Carthy,
We'll hear your voice no more,
While young and hale and hearty
You fell at your mother's door.
You'd no disease to stifle
Or deprive you of your breath,
'Twas a well aimed state-owned Uzi
That sent you to your death.

The folks of Abbeylara knew
You weren't crazed or mad:
That you were just depressed and blue,
Not menacing or bad.
But without your medication
You could get out of hand
And in one such situation,
You made some strange demands.

As rising trauma searched to find
A sanctuary in fear,
Your father's death preyed on your mind
As Easter-tide drew near.
Blind panic armed you for a fight,
All truth became a lie
When those who could resolve your plight
Were not allowed to try.

To mother Rose you were a joy,
A loving only son.
The ones who knew you man and boy
Could ignore your loaded gun.
For your handball they adored you,
Your humour and goodwill
But most of all those neighbours knew
You were not the type to kill.

Those marksmen standing ready,
Aware of all your strife,
With weapons true and steady,
Prepared to take your life.
They pointed at your manly frame,
Not shoulder, hip or thigh,
Without a thought to stun or maim,
And so you had to die.

The victim of state rigours,
Your death has nurtured rage,
And yet our national figures
Applaud this high tech age.
As enquiries (all ex-parte)
Switch on to eyewash mode
I see your ghost, John Carthy
On the Ballywilliam road

I see your ghost John Carthy
On the Ballywilliam road

(c) Mattie Lennon 1999  

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