Friday, February 11, 2011

The Bayonet

I have often asked my father and aunts to tell me of any story they have about their parents, aunts and uncles. Usually I get nothing but Aunty Julia came good eventually.

It appears that my grand mother Mary Anne Quinn (nee Rooney) was cycling between her home home in Knockatoor and Athenry when she spotted something on the road. She stopped to pick it up and it turned out to be a British Army bayonet which must have dropped from the belt of a soldier on patrol. She picked it up and kept it. She was considered very brave for keeping the bayonet because of the trouble it could have brought. She proved her bravery again in later years when the police and Tans came to the family home looking for her brothers during the War of Independence but thats another story.

A few months ago I meet my fathers first cousin, Julia Rooney and I told her I would drop out to her for a chat. A few weeks ago I went to her house and after a few minutes of chatting I asked had she heard the story of my grandmother and the bayonet . Without another word her brother Sean jumped up and went back to his room. He came back a couple of seconds later carrying something in his hand. "I always wondered where that came from" he said. He handed me the object and I have to say I was stunned, there in my hand was the bayonet. He had presumed that it had come from his father and uncle, during their time as IRA men.
At this stage it must be close to 100 years since that bayonet was found on the road, its tale paints a picture of life at the time and gives me such a good story about my granny that I dont need any more :).