Agnesenga by Oonah V. Joslin

Art Credit - PP&P Staff

Art Credit – PP&P Staff

Oonah’s mother, Agnes, was born in 1914 in Northern Ireland. Their neighbourhood, the Rectory Estate in Ballymena, was always a place where neighbours of all denominations lived in friendly co-operation with each other. Her mother made sure the children all played nice together, and she ensured that they would have knowledge, not prejudices, by taking them to every church in the town and explaining if it were needed what was going on — not why “they were wrong”. Their next-door neighbour was called Senga McQuillan — a nice woman and a good neighbour. This is what made Oonah who she is despite the ‘troubles’.
You can find Oonah at and all the sites in the Header list,, at her former employ at, this autumn as guest editor at The Linnet’s Wings, and as three-times winner at Or you could just Google Oonah V Joslin and see what happens.
The author and her mammy.

The author and her mammy.

7 thoughts on “Agnesenga by Oonah V. Joslin

  1. Lovely poem and photo of Oonah and her mother. If only people could live by her mother’s beliefs. The world would be a better place.

  2. “Bright are the berries, that make no distinction on religious grounds”
    and as it should be.
    Thank you for reminding me of the hedge of honeysuckles that grew along my Granma’s garage and the 2 kids that lived next door.
    Words have a way of shaking loose memories and letting them float back up to the surface!

  3. Loved the poem and the mental picture of your nanny doing what all our mammies did in those days! The photo is just how I remember your mammy! 😀 Our estate in Ballymena was the same as yours. Both denominations lived (and children played) together in harmony- just the normal spats that have gone on between children from time immemorial. My father also brought us up to respect people of other denominations.

Let us know how you feel. Leave a comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s