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To John Ryan

I knew him in my school going days a few years younger than I
With foxy hair and fairly tall he was a hardy boy
In Cockhill he grew into a man two miles from Millstreet Town
Yet the undulating roads he walked on before he'll never again walk up and down.

From that green countryside by the Boggeragh hills his journey through life began
John Ryan went to live in England when he was a young man
The wanderlust was in him and as many others had done before
He left for to seek his fortune on the big sister shore.

He will not be seen in Millstreet again and sad am I to say
That far from his old home in Cockhill he lived his final day
The Reaper claimed him fairly young and though years beyond his prime
He did not live to grow frail and old and worn by father time.

He was a decent human being in him there was much good
A quiet man and he would only help you if he could
He won't be seen in Millstreet Town no never more again
Or on the road that leads up to Cockhill in sunshine or in rain.

If I go back home to Millstreet he is one I will not see
And reading of his passing reminds me of my own mortality
Goodbye John Ryan and may you rest in peace for you were nice to know
I knew you in my school going days though that now seems long ago

by Francis Duggan

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