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Funeral for a Thief

Chicago May caused more than one man to die over her looks… an innocent street fight such as this is one such occasion…

The ladys honour, though no lady
Among such company is a queen
The offender sighted, the lady slighted
Tolerated it could not be seen
So quick of blow, and more were traded
Uppercut to hefty jab
Alas, fell dead for a ladys honour
On the kerb from a blow of the driver of a cab!
She of the red red hair
The Helen of Troy that launched another fight
She was no queen bar of the underworld…
This striking lady of the night…
George Kirby was to stand on trial
For getting involved were he aught not…
But the thieves came through upon their honour
Let that too not be forgot!

Mary Ann Duignan was the daughter of Francis Duignan of Edenmore in Ballinamuck where she grew up, and Ann Grey of Mohill in Leirtim. From a poor background she would rise - or fall as we may see it! - to being one of the biggest conwomen of her time, who would call herself the "Queen of Crooks", in time though, the law caought up with her and she died in poverty and obscurity. She was the Ronnie Biggs of her day...
Mary Ann Duignan was the daughter of Francis Duignan of Edenmore in Ballinamuck where she grew up, and Ann Grey of Mohill in Leirtim. From a poor background she would rise – or fall as we may see it! – to being one of the biggest conwomen of her time, who would call herself the “Queen of Crooks”, in time though, the law caought up with her and she died in poverty and obscurity. She was the Ronnie Biggs of her day…

Everyman, no matter how low
He is in life, through life or birth
To his tribe he has his rank
To those higher and lower, he has his worth.
Poor Walter Finch, the lady cared not
For whose honour he lost his life…
A hero in the now gone ages of chivalry
She was no lady, and made a bad wife.
Becky Cohen’s people, selling holy images
Gave wake to him the world rather did not know
Her mother, the matriarch, solemnly declared
He as a Catholic, to be buried would go.

It was some parade, of rank and file
In their place, as all men knew
There is aristocracy in mediocrity
Leaders and followers in the criminal crew.
As with all funerals, there was the carriages
Followed by horseborne men, side by side
Costermongers in corduroy suits of Whitechapel
Red neckchiefs worn, known far and wide…
Then the throng of the common criminal
Neither bad nor good at being good or bad
The beggars took up the rearguard
Being the station in life in the underworld they had.

Such a throng at the alter gathered
The priest looked down, baffled and dismayed
Their church attendance was shown by woeful ignorance
Of prayer and ritual, abunantly displayed.
Some sat when they should stand
More stood when they aught kneel
The Protestants of cource refused to
The Jewish folk, confused at the scene, surreal.

“Poor Walter, he has trailed his last guy”
Tribute by Tim Oakes said
Who betrayed his own for pieces of silver…
Mourning poor Finch now dead…
Ashes to ashes, intoned the priest
So to the earth Finch was laid
Fights broke out in the drunken late hours
So, by such, his funeral was made.

She, her of the red red hair
That caused remark that caused offence
Went on the be the cause of other men to kill or try
Men so excited know little sense
For she, as with those of her kind
For men of his care little, but passing through…
No matter how rough a man in life carries himself:
Being a gentleman can be his undoing too.

Finchley Cemetry when it was consecrated in 1854
Finchley Cemetry when it was consecrated in 1854

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