Saturday, April 4, 2009

Leixlip Eucharistic Congress Accident

Recently I had reason to visit Leixip, Co Kildare. I haven't been through the village for years since it was still on the main Sligo Dublin road. I talked about this to someone there mentioning the bridge and the Salmon Leap pub. She told me about a fatal accident which happened at the bridge in 1932 and involved a lorry of pilgrims returning late at night from the Eucharistic Congress. As part of their 150th anniversary the Irish Times are allowing free access to their digital archive so I looked it up and found the report of the accident from Tuesday 28 June 1932. Two men from Tullamore were killed when the lorry hit the bridge.

My grandmother, Brigid, died of consumption (TB) on the 15 August in the year of the Eucharistic Congress and her infant son, my uncle, Christopher, died the same day. Christopher is the patron saint of travellers of course. When I drove my mother (also Brigid - Christopher's sister) to Dublin we stopped often at the Salmon Leap Inn.

Mix all that together and there is a long poem there. Just need to be brought out, good words in the right order. As Robert Pinsky said "We consult our ancestors not worship them".


BarbaraS said...

More than the makings of a good poem - wish you well with the writing of it!

Michael Farry said...

Thanks Barbara! We'll see how it goes.