The Scariff Island Martyr 1591—1653

It all happened in Scariff Island
An island small off Kenmare Bay,
When Fr. Diarmuid Francis O’Sullivan
Was beheaded cruelly
While Mass was saying
The Cromwellian soldiers
Created havoc
All around that peaceful place,
That June morning 1653
Committed the most fearful crime,
hard to relate

Beautiful scenes so near him
Across the waters of Kenmare Bay.
He went to Spain and Portugal to learn
Always holy, kind and prayerful he,
Aimed, one day to be a friar so holy,
That was really his worldly dream.
Deep inside, he was patriotic,
As he watched Cromwell’s soldiers
Their humble homes in burning sheets,
The land of his ancestors torn to pieces
Tuosist and Ardea drowned in tears.
‘Twas said he allowed some guns to enter,
Thus save his kinsmen from death and grief
For this he gave his life indeed.

His baptismal name was Diarmuid O’Sullivan
But he took the name Francis
When ordained a friar one day in Spain,
He was saintly, holy, good humoured,
Highly religious in every way.
Then Cromwell’s villains beheaded Francis
Within sight of his native Derrynane fair
Our noble priest went straight to Heaven
His people were sad in old Kenmare.

In the Franciscan Church
In the heart of Killarney
His Blessed Scull, a relic lies there
Go there and pray to the Scariff Martyr
He will help all who kneel and pray

Beatified he should shortly be
Then a saint proclaimed he will surely be
South Kerry home of their precious saint
Now gazing on them
From Heavenly gates

Copyright Máiréad Tuohy Duffy (C) 2017