Dublin City Council is currently considering a short-list of potential names for the new bridge across the River Liffey. One of those names is Willie Bermingham – a Dublin firefighter and campaigner who founded the charity ALONE to highlight the appalling living conditions of some older people in our society.
Reader and fireman Steve McNally suggested the poem below in support of the campaign to name the new bridge after Willie, describing him as “a working class hero of Dublin”.
This poem is published with the kind permission of Vincent Caprani.
A poem for Willie
Never part of the get-rich-quick’
Or the louts for the lust for gold,
more a man of the common folk
With a dream for the lame and old;
Never one of the “smart ass” gang
Who brag that they have it made,
Just a straight up bloke, who shared a joke
with his mates in the firebrigade.
Never part of the haloed gang
With candles shrines and flowers,
More a kind of brotherly bloke
Who puts in the dreadful hours,
Of visiting sheds with old tattered beds
And people bedraggled and liced
And where each dark stall and dampened wall
Showed the face of a weeping Christ.
Never one of the surplice sort,
Or the prelates in purple gown
More a “hows-yo’r-farther” saint
Who searched around the town
To find the old and the cold and the spent
And the hordes of “Address unknown”
To help them cope and give them hope
And tell them that “You’re Not Alone”
– Vincent Caprani
To read more about the campaign to have the new Dublin bridge named after Willie Bermingham, visit ALONE.ie.
Uploaded by ALONEIreland