Paddy Collins

PADDY COLLINS

MICHAEL O’BRIEN

He lived up from the metal bridge, in the townland of Mountisland,

Some of his fields are level ground, but most of them are high land.

In Samuel Brindley’s former home, Paddy Collins was the resident,

He was a farming and a hurling man, and our esteemed GAA club president.

A former secretary of the club, he chaired the meetings too,

He also togged out for the club in the colours white and blue.

He started playing in fifty-one, his first game was senior grade,

He continued on till sixty eight, and quite an impact made.

He oft recalls the famous game in nineteen fifty two,

When the club it was suspended for football against Portroe.

There were two sent off from either team, and the club felt much offended

When asked to play the game again, it refused, and was suspended.

He was very good with timber and made hurleys for the club,

With hatchet, plane and spoke shave and a light sand paper rub.

The “makings” he procured himself, he had strength for fifteen men,

When carrying ash butts on his back from Biddy Harry’s glen.

In the valleys around his farmland, many saplings did he sow,

And watched with pride and patience, as, they, into trees did grow.

He grew many tall, strong broadleaves, as fine as you have seen,

He had holly, larch and Norway spruce and other evergreen.

He showed great skill with carpentry, he could dovetail and could splice,

He could tongue and groove the floorboards, he did tenon and mortise.

He loved to solve a problem, no matter what the test,

Be it hurling, farming, history, he then was at his best,

He laid the blocks for the dressing rooms and no one could build finer,

And to mark the lines on the playing pitch he invented his own field liner.

He took part also in senior Scór as he loved the question time,

No question ever stumbled him, his answers were sublime.

He excelled at local history, and with accuracy could recall

The events that happened locally or decided in the Dáil.

He knew all about Kilboy’s Big House and those who came there daily,

The Lords and Ladies from all around, Miss Norris and John Bayly.

When people called in for a chat and there’s one thing they always found,

No matter the conversation, Paddy’s feet were always on the ground.

And now my tribute’s ended, and I conclude this tale,

Molaim thú, a Phádraig, is tusa an fíor Sean-Ghael.