Mary Ann Thompson of Bridge Cottage, Carndonagh, was a keen poet and political commentator. Here we have three of her rather caustic poetic observations on Donegal political life.


England our fair and fearless sister

Once kicked Lea out of Kidderminster

And Irish brogues are not too small

To kick Lea out of Donegal.


Our staunch and true friend of the Protestant Church

In this contest for power is left in the lurch.

A red hot papist Guardian’s appointed instead

And thrust in right over our Candidate’s head.

Carn Orator (or The Fancy Mayor) (1877)

Come gather up boys while I spin you a yarn

About a brave lad call’d the Mayor of Carn.

A broth of a boy in the high civic chair

Catching smugglers and rogues in each market and fair.

He’s well up in Humphries and great in Levinge;

A loose point of law can right slyly unhinge.

Winks and calls the distiller an innocent babe

Then sniffs at the poteen for Barney McCabe.

Strikes fines on the fellows caught in a shebeen,

And lectures them well on the rights of the queen:

Sends vagrants right up to be cosy and snug

For a month napping stones in the Lifford stone jug.

At the Workhouse he’s great on the question of beef

And profound in his logic on outdoor relief.

In the bench he can see neither favour nor flaw

And holds by no rule but the rule of the law.

While a still hides in cave, or a tramp sleeps in barn

May this prince of good fellows reign Mayor of Carn

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