On St Patrick’s night, Monday 17th March at 8.00pm the Mothers’ Union and invited guests held a special event in Derryvullen South parish hall. Mrs Stewart assisted by the rector had prepared an appreciation of the well known Irish song writer Percy French. During the evening we sang songs such as “The Mountains of Mourne” and “Are you right there Michael”. These were set in the context of his life. Miss Gillian Ewing accompanied us on the piano.
What is less well known is that he was also a very good and enthusiastic artist and on many occasions paid his hosts by giving them one of his painting. Today they would fetch at least £1500. Even when he moved to London, he never lost his love for his fellow countryman in Ireland. He travelled widely throughout Ireland, Switzerland, America, Canada, the West Indies and Bermuda. A small man, 5ft 4ins, with a large moustache, he retained a boyhood playfulness, humour and innocence. He was non political. He was born in Co Roscommon in 1854, the year of the consecration of Derryvullen church; his father was a Doctor of Law and his mother was the daughter of a Church of Ireland clergyman from Co Leitrim, the Rev William Percy.
Mr John Irvine, Mrs Carol Dixon and Mrs Anne Rowley participated in the evening by reading a poem and some of the letters to his children. Everyone enjoyed supper in the form of Irish Stew, trifle and apple tart served by the younger members of the MU to whom we express our thanks.
Valerie Stewart reading a poem
Anne Rowley reading a poem
John Irvine reading a poem
Carol Dixon reading a poem