Lyric FM Pat Feeley Documentary Season Begins in Sliabh Luachra This Evening

The documentary work for RTÉ of the late Mountcollins native Pat Feeley will be featured on Lyric FM from this Sunday evening at 6pm. You’ll find the station on 98FM.

On Lyric FM at 6pm over the next handful of Sunday evenings, starting this evening, the late Pat Feeley’s roving reporting and programme making will be featured.

This should be of tremendous interest to lovers of traditional music in this area as he tended to drift in this direction quite a bit.

In fact, this evening’s programme features Tom Billy Murphy (1879-1944) the famed Sliabh Luachra fiddle player and music teacher and one of the more famous keepers of the flame.

The Sunday evening programmes on Lyric FM will later be available as podcasts.

A native of Mountcollins, Co. Limerick, Pat Feeley was one of the voices from rural Ireland on RTÉ One or Radio Éireann as it was still referred to during his time.

Along with his colleague from the west of Ireland, Jim Fahey, they kept their parts of the country in focus with their regular documentary programmes and interviews.

Pat Feeley died on November 30th 2019 but he left a remarkable legacy of folklore and songs – mainly of agrarian strife – behind.

One of the songs he unearthed in the course of his travels is the one of the hanging of Poff and Barrett in Tralee in 1883.

Poff and Barrett Ballad

Come on you lovers one and all,
And listen unto me,
A mournful execution that happened in Tralee.

Poff and Barrett met their doom,
May heaven be their bed,
Their dying declaration –
Those are the words they said:

James Barrett says: “I do declare
Before my God and Judge
That I never injured Thomas Browne
Or owed him any grudge.

I was not in the field that day
The fatal shot was fired,
Nor never knew the deed was done
Till after he expired.

I am a young man in my bloom,
I am scarcely twenty-five;
I never injured any man
As long as I’m alive.

In youthful days of manhood
I must give up my life,
Into the Blessed Virgin’s hands,
Who’s Mother, maid and wife.

God help my two young sisters
Who witnessed so much grief,
God comfort my poor parents
And grant to them relief.

Good-bye to all my dearest friends
Around my native place,
And when my spirit is at rest
Don’t throw me in their face.”

Sylvester Poff next handed,
The priest being in his cell,
A folded slip of paper
His dying words as well.

“Now I’m going before my God
Upon this very day;
I never injured Thomas Browne
Or took his life away.”

There is one request I have to ask
Before I end my life,
I have a helpless family,
Likewise a loving wife.

I hope you won’t forget them
When I am in the clay
May the Lord have mercy on our souls,
That is all I have to say.”

Like soldiers bold they soon ran up
The scaffold grim and high,
You’d think that they were anxious
To know who first would die.

Their moments they were numbered
Before the trap did fall,
And turned around again once more
Those words addressed to all.

“We now confess before our God
Who reared us from our birth,
That we never injured any man
Or woman on this earth.

May the Lord have mercy on our souls
And we hope each one will pray
Unto the Blessed Redeemer,
To wash our sins away.”

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