‘There are three deaths. The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, some time in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time’
‘As if my mother
A tweet from Louvain Rees first introduced me to David Eagleman and his story, Metamorphosis. The book was quickly published and regularly takes residence in my inside jacket pocket.
A few months back, I used that quote in the Memoriam message for my mother in the Irish Examiner. Proof, if needed, that the concept has well taken root in these quarters. Gerry Murphy’s poem conveys a similar message, only different. The two were calling out to be put together.
The recent Three Castles Burning podcast on the Stolpersteine installed at Danore Avenue in Dublin notes the message in The Talmud that a person is only forgotten when their name is forgotten
“She was mistakenly shot in the War of Independence, 14th May 1921, age 23 yrs. The Castle had been raided for arms by the IRA in 1920 and the Tri-colour mounted on the flag staff. On 14th. May 1921, she was mortally wounded in an IRA ambush and died later that day in her own home.
Her boy friend Captain Biggs, a Black and Tan officer. The ambush was an attempt to assassinate Biggs as he and Winifred returned from Killaloe to Glenstal by car. Winnifred was wearing a British army cap, as was Biggs, who in full uniform. She was mistaken for a Black and Tan. Biggs ran for cover, but was killed before he could return fire.
She had served as a nurse in World War 1”
“… The car came to a halt, and the three men jumped out. Trengrouse escaped towards Newport.Gabbit put up his hands, shouting that there were women in the car. Biggs was killed on the road. Winifred Barrington, dressed in a riding outfit and wearing Biggs’s hat, may have been mistaken for a man: shot in the lung, she fell into a ditch. The I.R.A. reported her death as ‘accidental’. [O/C Tipperary No. 1 Brigade, Sean] Gaynor told the BMH that the spirited Miss Coverdale gave the I.R.A. ‘dog’s abuse’ for killing a woman, to which Ryan remarked that ‘only for the bitch being in bad company she would not have been shot’. A military report stated that ‘the rebels refused assistance’ to Winifred Barrington, remarking “serves her right”, but they did bring her to a nearby farmhouse for aid, she died there a few hours later.”
The Dead of the Irish Revolution – Eunan O’Halpin & Daithí Ó Corrain