The Queen of Lackaghbeg
I took centre stage last Saturday,
As the sun found its highest point in the sky,
I bowed out beneath its spotlight,
My High Nellie was waiting for me,
No modern gadgets to slow me down,
No gears, No brakes, No helmet,
For a Queen… only needs her crown!
I swung in through Galway Market,
Where I once made a living come rain or shine,
My eggs, My butter, My banter…
I definitely had the longest line!
Galway city was full of characters,
And one day I met a real tough guy,
He thought he’d take my handbag,
But instead… he took a black eye!!
I smile as I freewheel down Two-Mile-Ditch,
Cloonacauneen on my mind,
I love to tell the Turloughs,
That the Casheleens are more refined!
I took a last look at the slated house,
A two-story I’ll have you know!
Then I tipped my crown to the castle,
And I pedalled on to the village below.
I passed through Claregalway like a whirlwind,
Come off it, you won’t find me on a gentle breeze!
…maybe a hurricane, or a tornado
Definitely something that’ll make you weak in the knees!
I found myself in Lackaghbeg,
My home now for nearly 70 years,
They’ve even made me royalty!
For I’m the fairest of my peers.
I’ve always loved community life,
I like to get things done!
Would anyone like to buy a lottery ticket?
And SURELY you’ll take more than one?!
It’s true, I’ve shared my opinion,
And maybe dished out a couple of thorns,
Wouldn’t it be worse if I tried to sell ya a pig in a bag,
Tis better to take the trolley by the horns!
I’ll never forget the day,
Ronseal didn’t do what it said on the tin!
It wouldn’t work no matter what I did
So I returned it back down to Flynn’s again!
I banged the can down on the ground
But before I could have my spake,
The paint exploded all over the shop ….and the young lads new shoes,
Flynn’s kinda looked like it had been hit by an earthquake!
I’ve enjoyed this cycle down memory lane,
And really there’s so much more to say,
Like…how much I look like Elizabeth Taylor!
But I guess we’ll have to say that for another day.
Paddy-Joe will be expecting me,
So I’ll have “a small cup” for the road,
I’ll fill my baskets with eggs and salmon and vegetables…
And sure, a Lackaghbeg Cocktail won’t weigh down my load!
So goodbye to the life I’ve loved,
And to the people who kept me full,
Thank you for my colourful life,
And remember me… as never dull.
Bridgie, you were definitely never dull!
Óiche Mhaith agus Codladh Sámh
– Geraldine Monaghan
Written in memory of she who was known as the “Queen of Lackaghbeg” – the formidable Bridgie Coppinger. In truth this poem could have been three times as long, I had ample material. A very colourful and vibrant person, full to the brim with life, sass and one liners. A mighty woman – a great character – and a giant absence.
R.I.P. Bridgie Coppinger – Legend