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Tuesday, 1 November 2011


This poem was prompted by the horrific, senseless, pointless murder of 81-year-old grandmother Mrs Maire Rankin in Newry, Northern Ireland in 2008. The story of the crime and how her family coped was made into a BBC NI documentary - A Family Trial: The Murder of Maire Rankin - viewable on iPlayer until 7 November 2011.  RIP, Mrs Rankin.

She was all that she could be,
all that she had to be,
sister, wife, mother, grandmother,
all that she wanted to be,
a life of more than four decades,
a family life, well-earned comfort in old age,
a nice house in a quiet terrace
brought to an end in brutal rage.

We can talk about who and how and why
as justice done was signalled by a gavel's smack
but just as justice serves a partial purpose,
it has no power to bring Mrs Rankin back.

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