The Boarding Out orphan was a wonderful pick


“It was an awful tragedy that Catherine died in the hospital after the third child was born. She was so young. It broke me in bits, but sure I had to keep going, the lads had to be fed and watered. But it was awful hard going.”

Picker raised his two daughters and one son as well as any housewife would. They still talk in the parish about how he could even bake good brown bread, never mind cooking their meals.

One of the daughters became a champion dancer, and he usually played for her at the concerts where she danced. They had a good   country life and rearing, and the daughters joined the civil service in Dublin, and later married in Dublin, and the son, called Jamie of course, took over the farm and even became a contractor cutting silage for other local farmers.

Picker kept hale and hearty well into his early eighties and was a core member of every good music session locally down all his years.

The son Jamie told me at the funeral last week that his father stayed true to his nickname to the very end.” He told me he had picked the end of October to go because he had never liked the bitter winds of November.

“He picked which side of the plot would allow him to sleep closest to our mother and he even picked the lettering for the headstone. He told me to make sure that Picker was included in his name because that is what he was always.”