Saint Joseph’s :: Album :: Poetry

The Famine Cross in Cathays Cemetary, Cardiff. During the years 1845-49, the potato crop in Ireland failed. A million people perished, and almost twice as many fled their homeland. Thousands of refugees arrived in Wales. This memorial, erected by their descendants with the support of generous friends, is for them.

The Famine Cross

Bitter sweet the gathering
this spring March morning.
Old women and men stand,
lost in their own thoughts
of roots long forgotten.

Shamrock fresh and Celtic melodies,
cannot take away the sadness of yester-year;
The famine cross a testament to a tale of endurance and faith.
Thousands upon thousand lie still, in unmarked graves,
their lives, short lived: ’til now, lost in the mists of time.

Two nations - one in remembrance,
bitter sweet the giving and the gain.
The Celtic cross in limestone stands -
a tribute to a people, and a pain
deep felt, this spring morn.

Celtic hearts beat as one;
A gnarled hand grasps the stick.
A tear falls on the weathered cheek
for what might have been.

Today, the sun shines on bent heads
in blessing -
A new beginning.
A new millenium.

Breda Gainey SSJA

The Unveiling Ceremony at Cathays Cemetary,
March 17th 1999

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