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‘May The Lord In His Mercy Be Kind To Belfast’ – Thomas Ekenhead’s City, c.1790-1832

by Familia Ulster Genealogical Review: No. 10, 1994


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by Richard Reid

"A Belfast man penned the line 'May the Lord in His Mercy be kind to Belfast' as a chorus to his poem, 'Ballad to a Traditional Refrain.'

Brendan Behan, a stage Dubliner if ever there was one, delivered a sly back-hander to Belfast in his reference to the poem: 'There's a good poem by the Belfast poet, Maurice Craig - who left his native city and wrote the best book ever written about Dublin.'

This is a fairly typical observation of a certain strain in Irish writing which suggests that the best thing to do in Belfast is to get to hell out of it!"

In this article, the author explores the life of one of his ancestors, Thomas Ekenhead.