An Image


This morning I attended Mass at St Catherine’s Dominican Church, said by Fr Tumelty of Dromalane. Yesterday I got Mass in Notre Dame, Paris and the day before at Sacre Coeur, Montmartre. Congregations dwindle everywhere.

McGladdery on pub crawl ..


Robert (Bobby) McGladdery was on a pub crawl with his friend William Copeland that fateful evening of Pearl Gamble’s death.

In fact they had spent most of the day together drinking, after first meeting in Hollywood‘s Bar in Hill Street. 

Is it a language really?



You may, if you like, substitute the term Ulster Scots in the article below and scarcely alter the meaning or effect.





Turnips for indigestion


With over-indulgence, you may well be suffering from stomach problems. So the following useful cure offered by our regular reader Francie Byrne is timely.

‘My great-great grandfather apparently had a cure for stomach troubles. Here is an extract about him as published in the Rathfriland Outlook about the year 1940.

Altar Boy


When I was eleven or twelve I became an altar boy. Mother made my red and white surplice. The mass was all in Latin and I had to learn the correct responses.

For Danny (poem)


For Danny 

I blurted out the truth

mindless of the harm

‘He is vital, smart and interested. 

He makes me warm

To my subject.  So like my son!’

And then I left.

I had won,

but at the cost

Of self-approbation.

I had lost. 

A cry for help – silly white lies;

Despised now too in mother’s eyes.


He summoned me to his office, now alone

Mother and delinquent child long gone

‘Said you were ‘picking on him”, with a knowing grin

‘Both mad as hatters!  Evil as sin!’


No years of ‘chalk and talk’

and innocent upturned faces

Could prepare me for that walk

The troubled boy of ’84

aching no more.


He refused me leave

to attend the funeral mass

‘Pressed for time, you see!


I spoke out then.  Too late.

Tore into him

Begged God’s forgiveness

for the hate I bore him.


At the graveside I prayed

perpetual light to shine

On him whose earthly burden

weighed much heavier than mine

Until the lonely stress was raised at last

Through straining rope

hanging from a roof truss.


Last night I marked each hour

the ticking clock’s chime:

I was begging his forgiveness

for all the times

That I was self-obsessed

thoughtless or unkind

For easy victories 

when his troubled upturned face

was reading mine.


I pray the Lord his soul and mine to keep

when life is spent

And other sinners too

when they repent.

Pearl’s Murder


As the moth is drawn to a flame, every year at this time I feel an inner compulsion to return to the sad story of the murder of young Pearl Gamble …

Reversal – M Connolly

You can tell a lot about a person by quickly scanning their bookshelves, almost as much as you can by listing their friends, their musical or artistic tastes or their leisure pursuits. 

Big Clock


It was the early 60s.  Many working men still wore cloth caps, like the man passing John Temples in the background.

Slaughter in Ballyholland

Ballyholland History

One morning in 1797 the Ancient Britons [a Welsh Regiment of the English Army ]  accompanied by Becker’s Yeomanry, rode out from Newry through Corrags until they came to a loanan which, over a hill, led to the farm of a widow woman, one Mrs Ryan. 

Derrybeg: Bessie Flashes


Yes, in the early years we walked to school.  I vividly remember walking down the Camlough Road in the dark, on a winter morning, and seeing flashes lighting up the sky.  

No, it wasn’t lightning.  It was Bessie, the Bessbrook tram, heading along the meadows towards the terminus at Edward Street

Mary Kane’s Class


It just struck me!  Mary Kane (Rose Mary Kane)  – that’s  the same moniker as that famous country singer and celebrity panellist from Newry ….  well, Meigh, actually, – Rose Marie … and maybe ‘infamous’ is the word.

Anyway, is she any relation?

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