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Acknowledgement from the family of the late John P Convery

Marian and the entire family of the late John Convery R.I.P. wish to express their sincere thanks to all those who sympathised with them in their recent bereavement.

A special thanks to the priests of the parish, Dr McNeill and staff, and Marie Curie for the care and support provided.

Thank you to J.A. Gormley Funeral Directors for all their help, and the professional and dignified manner in which they carried out the funeral.

Particular thanks to Jim B. and Sean for the beautiful music.

The Month’s Mind Mass for John was celebrated on Friday 9th June at 7.30pm in St. Patrick’s Church, Glen, Maghera. Mass was viewed via:

J.T.H. (John The Hollow)

I had a dream the other night that my Da had passed away

And a priest he stood before me and this to me did say

“I’m sorry for your troubles, but he’s gone to a better place

He’s happy now in Heaven and his soul is full of grace. But I have to ask you”, said the man in black, “is there anything you’d like said.

At the funeral mass for the recently passed, for your father freshly dead?”

So I said to the priest, with his hair nicely greased

“Have you an hour or two to spend?”

To which he replied, “I’ve a taxi outside, I’m off for a golfing weekend.

But I’ll be back next week, and then we can speak about your father RIP,”

To which I replied (I neither shouted or cried)

“Don’t waste your time talking to me”.

My father thought I, with a tear in my eye

Will long since be buried by then

So what use will be words, left for the birds

After you’ve wielded your pen?

Leave me alone, go away, and I’ll write my own tribute

In ink dripping with sadness, in memories no one can dispute.”

No priest had to read it from an altar in Glen

While hypocrites sat in their pews and chanted their amen.

I remember so much I have to bunch it all together

Lough Beg in September, and in August mountain heather.

Pheasants in meadows where I shot my first one

(I still think ‘twas a hen I brought down with my gun.)

White fronted geese in the bogs of Tyrone

Or magpies and grey crows in a forest in Cloane.

The Ulster Novice in County Armagh

Or the Open in Ashbourne (Tiocfaidh ar La)

Even Kilroot power plant in seventy-seven

Or Kennedy’s plantation, I thought I was in Heaven.

Andy MacLean would send a card, every Christmas bar none

Straight powder to the Hollow and his Mirouki gun.

Michael Shoddy creeping up to shoot a decoy in the head

Billy McFaul travelling to a wake – “he’d better be feckin’ dead!”

On Aden mountain when the grouse they took flight

Or with Barney Cassidy (Silver) who fought the good fight.

Saying good-bye as that ship sailed to Stranraer

Learning to drive in a red Datsun car.

Footing turf on the Grazing, with the Sun blazing fire

Or over in Ballyknock with a cow in the byre.

Bottles of stout and dry cider, before my exams

Ernesto Che Guevara adopting hungry lambs.

Annie’s children so lucky to have a Granda so young

Not some cranky old bugger aged ninety-one.

I remember clay pigeon shoots here, there and yonder

But when he won the Ulster Novice it did fill me with wonder.

Sixty-nine out of seventy was a hell of a score

As the rain it did pour down and the wind it did roar.

Pete McCloskey was there, he thought it his prize by right

My Da was just the taxi driver but he gave Pete a fright.

Brian Reagan had won it the year before.

Santa Claus would store toys behind his barn door.

I can still smell the hay in Duncan’s shed

And taste the cheese and tomatoes with which we were fed.

I could write a lot more, I could fill up a book

But thank God I don’t have to, I’m left off the hook.

For in the morning I woke up to the smell of fried bread

Being cooked by a man who was far from being dead.

I now had the chance to tell him, thank God

“You’re still walking upright on Erin’s green sod

I love you Da and we’ll again smell the heather”

But instead I lit a fag and mentioned the weather.

Michael Convery (Mac Ainmhire) 2 March 1965 – 21 December 2021

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