Cyphers Magazine


Publishing poetry, prose and art since 1975

James and Jack Travers

By Rachael Hegarty

James Travers’s Deposition and Statement at the Coroner’s Court 02.10.03

I am James Travers, brother of the deceased, Thomas (Jack) Travers. Jack worked for himself, supplying wood shavings for chicken farms. On the 17th of May 1974 I heard the news of the bombings in Dublin. I drove home to Monaghan. On arrival at my parents’ home, I was told that my brother was missing. Jack had gone into Monaghan Town to check, to see if his fiancée, who was working in Dublin, was on a bus. At that time, Greacen’s Pub was the terminus for all the express buses. I went to the bomb site. I was told all casualities had been removed to the County Hospital. Then I met a local doctor, Edmond Duffy. I think, it was him, who told me he thought Jack was in the morgue. I found my brother Jack’s remains lying on the floor of the mortuary. I immediately identified my brother, Jack Travers, to the people there. That place was a charnel house, body parts were all over the place. Ach, our family’s experience was the same as all the other families.


When we was at school

we learned why place names

are given place names.

Our house is on Park Street

because ours is the street

be the park. And it runs

into Hill Street because that end

of town has a biteen of a drumlin.

Market Street is where the cattle

and livestock roamed on mart days.

Dawson is named after some dead rich lad.

We call it the Diamond, for its shape.

Mill Street – maybe an auld flour mill?

But sifters and grinders are no longer there.

Glaslough Street is but a summer stroll

from the lake where Jim and me used swim.

Clover Hill sounds like a good spot

for tethered horses and courting couples.

Meself and herself once rambled that way,

ach, the place was a building site mess.

I prefer the old Irish names.

There’s the Crannog – it’s not stone age.

It’s a new housing estate.

But the name lets you imagine what was.

Then again, there’s a lot to be said

for street names that tell you where you stand.

Say the North Road. You get what it means –

a road that takes you north, to the border.

Jack Travers (28): Self- employed, single and from Park Street, Monaghan Town. Jack still lived with his family and was very athletic. He was engaged to be married. Survived by his parents, brother Jim, sisters and fiancée. Jack was killed in the explosion in North Road, Monaghan.

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