For years i sat and intently listened while my greatgranny told me stories of her childhood growing up in keady and informed me of her 'partner in crime' Tommy Makem, her cousin and her best friend. It never twigged with me at such an early age who this 'Tommy' fella was. Now at 18 years old i am fully aware of his character and his presence in the world of irish music. When Tommy last visited Ireland a few weeks before his death, my greatgranny went for a meal in the Armagh city hotel where Tommy happened to be staying, she contemplated going over to him and saying hello, but he was swamped with a crowd of adoring fans so she decided not to. It was only when she learned of his death a few weeks later she was angry at herself for letting the moment pass. To this day she regrets not saying hello for the first time in years and goodbye for the very last time.
So Tommy heres a final farewell from Kay (Kathleen) O'Hanlon nee Donnelly and her greatdaughter Meghan Leonard. You did South Armagh proud...'Tommy Makem'-a name that will forever echo around the rolling green hills of South Ard Mhacha.