The poem ‘May Day Memories’ was written by Frances Browne ‘The Blind Poetess’ in the mid nineteenth century and these verses have been put into song by Ballybofey musician and song writer Tommy Bonner. Tommy and his group the ‘Urban Hermits’ will launch the song on Highland Radio on Tuesday next, May 1 and it will also be available on CD
This occasion is unique as it is the first time music has been applied to these verses and it is fitting that a popular musician from Frances’ home town is leading the song.
On the subject of Frances Browne, the poetess’ biographer Patrick Bonar has informed the paper that there may be a connection with the poetess to the south-west village of Kilcar. There is a suggestion that she is a descendent from one of the Browne families who resided in the town land of Towney. Local poet Joe Gallagher and historian Michael O’Donnell from the Carrick and Kilcar area are researching further on this connection. Frances Browne Arthur who was a niece of the blind poetess was born in Manorcunningham and she too was a great writer who needs more research. Anyone one who is interested in this subject will find some information at ballybofeyandstranorlat.com ‘The History Trail’