Irish Time

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Biddy

















This Song was one of Biddy's Favourites.


She sang it often when I was a child.



Brigid Dempsey, married name Clarke was born beside the River Shannon
in Ireland, in a village called Meelick (Milic) where she was also reared. 

A lot of her family on her mother's Kelly side,
originated in Belfast and south Armagh. She was laid to rest in
Meelick in Galway, beside the River  Shannon last week in the
graveyard of the old Fransiscan monastery, which was once part of the
Old Celtic Church before the Roman Catholic and British landgrabbers
came.






They say she was a beautiful woman, she certainly was strong minded
and an independent woman, in a time when women were under the jackboot

 of a male dominated Church and a civil service, that was compliant with
its creators, the  chauvinist British Empire, itself a relic of its predecessor

 the Roman Empire. Empires are organized with great cruelty and occupations 
 consist not just of crucifxions of the Judea-Christian kind but the slow
 heartless grind of occupied peasantry and slavery. Invasions and occupations
 are a  crime against humanity, justified with the hypocritcal veneers of so called
plunderous civilizations. Brigid's sensitive nature  experienced that cruelty and it 
 created her rebellious spirit.






The war that has gone on in Ireland for 800 years was played out in
her married life. Her husband was a blue shirt who spent many years in
England with poverty enforced emigration since he was a teenager. She
was sent to a  mental hospital in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, called St.
Brigids after many brutal fights with her husband. St. Brigids is
also a cold heartless place of great cruelty, which like Ireland's
older prisons are Victorian relics of British  occupation. She
recieved consistent electric shock treatment and for a long time,
non-appropriate medication which aggravated her sensitive nervous
condition. Aside from her husband Michael a hardworking man, all of
the decision makers, the parish priest, police sergeant and doctor,
were all males, who were reared in general isolation from women 

and simply did not understand.






 I watched this eternal war as the eldest of 6 children played out in
our home growing up. As a child I threw cups of water on
 my mother's unconscious face, whom I believed dead, on my father's
orders. As the eldest boy I was particularly close to
 my mother and was distraught.  I struggled to emotionally  distance
myself from my mother. I grew up hating my father and all forms of
authoritarian dictatorship. Like most  oppressed cultures and a lot of
my fellow countrymen and women, I turned to drink as a relief from the
insanity and contradiction of this reality.






 Its twenty two years since I had my last drink, so I should be sober
but it has taken many years, to come to terms with the
 demons of my past. I received a lot of help from people all  over the
world, with similar experiences and a Big Spirit that  is loving,
caring and nurturing and of no particular religious persuasion. I
learned in the process, that life is difficult for most people, as it
particularly was for Brigid. I had to change but I also realize this
society has to change. It has taken and will take a lot of mother's
children to change it.






 Brigid or her husband Michael Clarke never got the opportunities in
life I got to liberate themselves. Brigid or Biddy is now at rest
beside her beloved River Shannon in the old monastery grounds which
she loved as she played and worked growing up as a young woman.


Her religion gave her  some peace of mind in her personal battles with
her reality. Biddy was judged as mad by some people but she was loved
by many as evidenced by her typical Irish funeral.



Biddy was my Mother and my own processor is a bit scattered as result
of her passing. Some say its always scattered.



Please excuse me while I take a break from this blog.



Gra an bhrid libh agus beir bua,

boru


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