Little Stories

Little Prints

2016

Margaret Tuffy

'Dawn, Ode to Bridget McKane', Mezzotint

Bridget McKane is one of 38 children who lost their lives in the 1916 Rising. This print ‘DAWN’ is dedicated to her memory.

 

On April 29th the revolutionary forces took final leave of the GPO by the side door on Henry Street. Leaving in groups of three, they crossed the road to Henry Place and Moore Lane, their intention was to join their comrades at the Four Courts.  Unaware that the British had erected barricades at

different junctions in this area, the rebels were taken by surprise and sought shelter where they could. Under fire at the junction of Moore Lane, where a barricade was in position, they forced their way into 10, Henry Place, by shooting the lock off the door. Thomas McKane and his 16 year old daughter, Bridget, were standing behind the door.  Thomas was injured in the hand and Bridget took a bullet in the head. She died shortly after.

Her mother Margaret was with her at her moment of death and her

signature is on the death certificate.

Bridget’s baptism is registered in the records at St Mary’s Pro Cathedral on June 11th 1900.  Her family address on that date is 20 Marlborough St.   Her father Thomas and mother Margaret and her sponsor Elizabeth Kelly attended.  

 

SURRENDER

Dawn is creeping in

Silently, as the waning moon.

The night-truce tipping into broken

A child cries, someone whistles,

I have known the impact of it.

 

My mother’s mourning fills me

Hope upon hope, a tangible force.

An ancient plea, for time, for mercy,

A mantra whispered in my ear

Then, a low keening of surrender.

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