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In Honour of Patrick Sheahan, 6 May 1905
By Tom O'Connor

With his father, my 10-year-old dad flew
for the first time from JFK to Dublin--
his ancestors' home. Along
cobblestones, taxi ranks, past the Liffy,

all the way to Sandymount--to find the family
plaque. A committee had raised it for our
family in the city center, to immortalize
my grandfather's uncle--Patrick Sheahan

of the Dublin Metropolitan Police.
When a gas line ruptured, he saved one
unconscious worker--overcome fixing it--
but died dragging another man up

from the sewer: no greater gift to a friend
of this city. Its sidewalks still jammed
with shoppers and passers-by. My grandpa
curses everyone: "didn't anyone notice?"

Years since another committee widened
O'Connell St., tearing down the dedication
in stone. No one noticed. But my dad
watched his dad kick a lamppost:

"it's somewhere for Chris'sake."

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Document last modified on: 11/04/2007

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