The Life and Death Of Connor Finnegan

     Get yourself a cup of tea, or coffee if you prefer, and put your feet up,  for this is a long one. First published two years ago as my St. Patrick’s Day offering it seems to have garnered even more attention lately than it did originally. So I am re-posting it for those of you, who may not yet have read it.

     As always, please take the time to read it, and if you are so inclined, to comment.

     Have a friendly Friday,


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Up the Republic

The Life and Death of Connor Finnegan

Seamus Connelly, watched in pain,

as the soldiers,

searched his home.

What right,” he thought,

do the bastards have,

to force me down to prone?”


The word had quickly spread about,

of his diatribe,

towards the Crown.

‘Twas that speech, that had him now,

with boot on his back,

and on the floor, face down.


Just at the hour of five a.m.

they’d broken in,

and dragged him, from his bed.

They had brought him harshly, to his knees,

with a blow,

at the back of his head.


It was at the pub, on Saturday last,

that his troubles,

had got their start.

When out from the mouth,

the words he spoke,

came directly, from his heart.


Though, the pints he drank,

had loosened then,

his very, Irish tongue,

he had ought to have,

been more mindful there,

to the crowd he was among.


The more the pints,

were poured for him,

 the more venom, he had spewed.

He had damned the Crown,

and for all it stood,

and did, in manner crude.


Yes, he damned the British,

all to Hell,

and with them sent the Royals.

But most of all,

he damned the souls,

of the Irish, to them, loyal.


Eloquence had abandoned him,

around the third, or perhaps,

fourth glass,

when he invited,

all true Irishmen,

to get up off, their arse.”


To join together and fight,

as one,

to drive the British home.

To use all weapons,

they could find.

To use “bombs or guns or stones.”


His alcoholic vitriol,

had continued passed,

and well beyond, sublime.

The fervor heightened,

in the place,

and might explode, at closing time.


But, a squad of soldiers,

just ‘happened’ by,

coincidentally, at that hour.

Or, forewarned per chance,

to disperse the threat,

and thus, diffuse its power.


 But, looking backwards now,

could not allay,

or assist him, in his plight.

He had heard the words, sedition,

and conspiracy,

to incite.


Offences dire, to be sure,

to be sent,

to Her Majesty’s Maze.

And there he’d stay,

for longer than,

at least five thousand days.


Options now for Seamus,

were but few,

or less.

To surrender calmly,

and accept,

his certain now, arrest.


But, Seamus went,

not quietly,

never now, nowhere, before.

And this would be no different,

if he could just,

get off the floor.


Providence came,

as O’Malley’s dog,

charging through the door.

A good neighbor he,

O’Malley be,

and knew full well, the score.


So, with no shackles,

yet upon him,

and the dog, at the soldier’s crotch,

 Seamus, almost wishing,

he could stay,

just, for that to watch.


The front door about gone,

from the battering,

would stand not, in his way.

And if he could make it,

to the street below,

he’d surely, get away.


The soldier’s scream,

at the dog’s attack,

had brought the others, to the room.

Just at the time,

that Seamus fled,

and not one tick, too soon.


The call to “Halt”,

persuaded him not,

as down the flight he ran.

Boot-steps heavy,

on the stairs behind,

made him a faster man!


Out on the stoop there,

he had paused,

for but, a moment brief.

To left or right to go?

Ah, the church,

was his belief.


Father Pat would be,

the one to see,

and be his saving grace.

So, right it was,

to get away,

and at a frantic pace.


Down on the street, now crowded,

 his pursuers,

could fire not.

For fear the violent consequence,

if innocent,

or nay, be shot.


So, Seamus Connelly,

would this time,

avoid their brutal jail.

But, humility tasted,

as the bitter pill,

and they swore, he’d ‘wear the pail’!


The ‘wearing o’ the pail’ you see,

was saved, for those,

they deemed a thorn.

Water dripped incessantly,

upon the head,

whilst, a bucket worn.


Insanity soon would visit,

the poor,

unfortunate one.

And that would be,

for Connelly,

whence, they’d ceased his run.


Father Patrick McNally,

had been raised,

right here in this town.

He knew the people,

and he knew the Brits.

And he’d let not, his parish down.


So, when Seamus,

came to pounding,

on the church’s door,

Father Pat,

had welcomed him.

For he was Irish, to the core.


 But, he also knew the danger,

giving harbor,

to a wanted man.

So, the departure quick,

of Connelly now,

he set about to plan.


Seamus would indeed, be moved,

to a house,

where he could stay.

Until with papers,

and name anew,

be born again, that day.


For Father Pat was not a stranger,

to the ‘Movement’,

and it’s needs.

So, arrangements were made,

for the travel,

and he bid to him, “Godspeed.”


Thus, his journey went with ease,

and he arrived there,

safe and sound.

But, from there,

no trace of him,

would ere again, be found.


Nevermore, be Seamus Connelly,

to be heard,

nor seen again.

And welcomed to the world,

would be,

one, Connor Finnegan.


His new papers said,

that he was born,

and raised, in County Clare.

Perfect papers, newly forged,

would get him then to Boston,

 or damned near anywhere.


And there cruel irony,

would play a part,

in the death of Connor too!

He’d be shot outside a bar,

for speaking what was on his mind,

at the closing hour, of two.


                                                                Jack Downing

                                                                      July 2011

Copyright© Jack Downing, aka Jake All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted or disseminated in any manner without the expressed written consent of the author. JRD 3/8/13

About poemsandponderings

Hearth and Health are wonderful things and if you're without either such sorrow that brings So I cannot express enough thanks to my Lord and to my family and friends for the support you afford! ~Jack Downing~
This entry was posted in Animals, beer, demise, dog, God, history, Irish descent, life, tavern, whiskey and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Life and Death Of Connor Finnegan

  1. Sally says:

    Long but fun!! So appropriate for St. Paddy’s day!!.

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