A poem for Querrin
The following poem was written by Martin J. O'Keefe. Martin was born and lived on Querrin Shore for much of his early life before moving to Rochester, New York. Martin was a great musician and came home every year for the Willie Clancy festival in Miltown Malbay. We were lucky enough to have Martin come back home to visit for the launching of the Sally O'Keefe, a community built traditional Shannon turf boat named after Martins grandmother, in May 2012 at the age of 99. Martin passed away in 2015 at the age of 103.
This poem was first published in the Clare Champion newspaper several decades ago and was simply signed by A Fishermans Son.
Querrin, County Clare
As I watched the tide flow in the creek, where in boyhood days I stood
And played upon the pebble beach and oft times in the mud.
My memory takes me to the spot and the friends who joined me there
As we played upon the Shannon bank at Querrin, County Clare.
As silly as those games now seem, we play them there each day
Before returning to our homes, the rosary to say
It seemed to be a lot of fun, just because our homes were there
Upon the lovely Shannon bank at Querrin, County Clare.
The currachs leave the old grey pier, as the sun goes down the West
To cast their nets into the deep, each man where he thinks best.
They pray and hope that God will grant an answer to each prayer
And fill their nets with silvery fish at Querrin, County Clare.
When the seagulls to the land do flock and the bar at Beal is broke
Or the Kerry mountains wear a cap, it's bad for the fishing folk
But when Tarbert light is shining bright and all the West is clear
They will sail again from the old grey pier at Querrin, County Clare.