Elegy for a ‘Fenian Get’

© By Padraic Fiacc

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Patrick Rooney
Aged nine
Shot dead

Clouded with slow moving orange smoke
Swirls over the hill-street, the shop

Where I bought the First Holy Communion Dress
Is boarded up with wire and around the back

Of it the altar boy was shot dead
By some trigger-happy cowboy cop

Whose automatic fire penetrated
The walls of the tower flat the young father

Hid the child in out of a premonition!

O holy Christ, why?
‘Well, it’s like this:
Fenian gets out of hell are spawned in
Filthy Fenian beds by Fenian she-devils will
Bloody not take the pill!
The other
Little children altogether shouted:

‘Rats, pigs (nits make lice!) – Burn ’im
Burn ’im, Burn the scum, Burn the vermin!’

© Padraic Fiacc, Elegy for a ‘Fenian Get’ 1977

Padraic Fiacc recalls the shooting of little Patrick Rooney by police firing from armoured cars during heavy rioting in Divis Street in August 1969. Fiacc here intones the words by which he imagines a Protestant bigot defending the shooting of little Patrick.

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