Maire Bean Mac Giolla Padraig, the revolver and the hen

My eldest brother and sister were fluent Irish speakers. Dad and Mum saw to it that we six spoke, read and thought all for Ireland. Everything we wore was made in Ireland. My brother, Seán, was a very fine player of many instruments. We all could play and sing and dance. Then Liam Mellows came to stay with us while he was organising Na Fianna Éireann. Seán helped him to establish the first branch in town. I was allowed to help with the organising, but Liam Mellows wouldn’t let a girl join. Seán got the loan of a revolver and I was allowed to learn to use it until one day I shot a hen belonging to Mum, so I had to stop.

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