In the mountain vale they sprung from
Three rosy-cheeked girls played around the hearth
and in nearby streams.
Sweet but short was the family’s time together
as Consumption claimed their parents lives.
The despairing mother prayed for her children
as illness ended her dreams.
The children moved from this scenic setting
to a grey inhospitable building in the country town,
in the care of the worthy Religious Order.
They adjusted in time to the demands of a confined urban setting
A contrast to the freedom they’d known.
Their date was destiny was carved on a February night in 1943.
Fire engulfed the living quarters and Dormitories, their plight
To parent there to afford care or set them free.
Their misguided Guardians ever conscious of privacy, did not seek
They were above worldly cares, their hearts way up in the heavens.
The children’s screams pierced the night air,
over the flames pitiless drive.
From Moneen, sisters Ellen and Bridget died with thirty-three
The saddest happening, the deaths of young dreams unrealized, an
end to possibilities.
They would never again see the morning mist ascent over Cuilcagh’s
The victims’ souls escaped free of stain or sin.
There is no alternative to fate, those better positioned must go the
same route, as death’s iron grip turns all to dust.
The victims occupy dormitories in the heavens, at one with their once
In Cullies Cemetery their mortal remains rest,
A stark reminder of how the system failed the vulnerable in their hour
Commuters on the bypass might well request the victims prayers for
us ground zero sinners.