All aboard the Inisfallen!



A tribute to Fr Eddie O’Connell, a native of Cork City, (and a ‘Cork Boy’, so!) on the occasion of his Silver Jubilee as a priest for the Cardiff Archdiocese, June 1, 2005.

All aboard the Inisfallen!
All aboard the Inisfallen!

The Angelus rings o’er the old River Lee,
The crowds they are gathered down there by the quay,
The old Inisfallen is ready to sail,
For the distant Welsh shore,
Along the Emigrant’s trail.
There are fond Irish mothers
Bidding their sons goodbye.
There are tough Irish fathers
Trying hard not to cry.
There’s a young priest from Cork,
Ordained yesterday,
He’ll say his next Mass an ocean away.
From the County of Clare
Comes a colleen so fair,
To try her vocation
In a convent somewhere.
There are holidaymakers,
Hearts heavy as sand,
As the old Inisfallen
Sets sail from Ireland.

The old Inisfallen,
Is now under way,
The crowd’s last farewell
Is a silent Ave.
They wave to their loved ones,
With handkerchiefs wet,
Oh, write to me Eddie,
Please don’t forget.
The fond Irish mother
Her heart’s broken now,
The tough Irish father,
His head he does bow,
The young priest from Cork,
His Office he reads,
The young girl from Clare
Prays her Rosary beads,
The holidaymakers,
Hearts heavy as sand,
As the old Inisfallen
Sets sail from Ireland.

It’s 25 years since
That ship from the Lee,
Brought Fr Eddie
To serve you and me,
His hair has long gone
But his Faith is still strong
As he shows us the difference
Between right and wrong.
Now we salute him
On his Silver Jubilee,
We thank and God Bless
A son of Cork City
On the banks of the Lee,
A son of Cork City
On the banks of the Lee.

Note:

The first two verses were written by John O’Sullivan about 37 years ago, on the occasion of the maiden voyage of the newly commissioned B & I ‘Innisfallen’, sailing from Cork to Swansea.
John was then a young and active journalist, accordeon player, singer and song writer.
Among those on board for the celebrations were the then Taoiseach, Jack Lynch and ‘The Hennessys’ (Frank Hennessy and Dave Burns) of Cardiff, ‘musicians in residence’ for the trip.

The final verse was written for the celebration of Father O’Connell’s Silver Jubilee.
When John O’Sullivan sung it after the special Mass at Father o’Connell’s parish Church, St. Teilo’s, Whitchurch, Cardiff, an elderly gentleman came forward to say that he had been one of the crew on that first voyage of the ‘Innisfallen’!


The Poetry of Things

Home.