Our Courses


News  ≡ 




(A true story about a young nurse who risked the wrath of Nell Muldowney* in a busy hospital ward on a Christmas Eve)



The old lady opened her weary eyes


“Nell, it’s only me”


“Ah, it’s you nurse; I hoped ‘twas St Peter


What time is it now?” “Just 3:


You asked me to call you before I left...


Maybe you’d rather the rest


But I’m off duty now till St Stephen’s Day


Popped in to wish you the best”




“What time are they going to open me up?”


“You’re going down to the theatre at 5”


“Bringing a surgeon in on Christmas Eve...


...And for what? To keep me alive”


“Nell, you’re an awful woman to be talking like that


I think you’re a special lady”


“I’m a crusty ould sod ...and you know it


So less of the charm Miss Sarah”




“Sarah? Why do you call me Sarah, Nell?”


“Do I?” “All the time:


I don’t mind; it’s just that I wonder...”


“Ah, Sarah was a beautiful child


If only I had my mother then


But she died when I was 2


But you have more to be doing than listening to me


So quickly now...be off with you”




“Let me be the best judge of where I want to be


I’ll call it my good deed for the day


And even though you’re cross and contrary now


And don’t want me here ...I’ll stay”




“Is there no-one at all to visit you, Nell


(SILENCE) “Ok; I’ll leave you alone


I’ll light a candle in Our Lady’s Church


And maybe later on, I’ll phone” (GOES TO LEAVE)




“No, child, come back; I’d like you to stay


If you’re sure you can spare the time


I’m sorry I am the way that I am...


No, there’s no family, but that’s just fine…


They’d be only slobbering and doddering over me


And waiting for me to die


And wondering what I left to who...


From my fortune! (soft laugh) And pigs might fly!”




 “There’s a lot of sadness in you Nell


In your face, it’s plain to see


If you’d like to talk to someone


Your secret is safe with me”




“I remember my Confirmation Day


I walked 5 miles to the Chapel...alone


Me poor father couldn’t get the time off


From that tyrant Major Lamont...




...If he’s not rotting in Hell, there’s no such place


…I’m sorry child; go home


And not be listening to an old lady prattling...


(SILENCE) “God, I felt so alone...




...I went working for him at 18 years


There was nowhere else to go


At 19, I was carrying his child


Of course he didn’t want to know




My child was taken away from me


I would never see her again


My heart broke into a thousand pieces


Fr Flynn said it was just penance for my sin


But the Major and that “Holy” Priest


Went hunting every Sunday


While I scrubbed floors and kitchen doors


The same again on Monday”




“Did you ever try to find Sarah, Nell?”


“Oh aye; but the Priest said I wasn’t well


So everywhere I went for help


A frightening silence fell


I’ll never forget the voice of that nun


“We have placed her in a very good home


So for God’s sake, forget this silly nonsense


And learn to live with what you’ve done!


(soft cry) Forget little Sarah ...as if I could”




“Nell, were you ever in love?”


“Oh, aye; I was 25


One of the Major’s hands be the name of Jack


For once, I felt so alive...


We went everywhere together


Going to marry in the Spring


Oh, a handsome lad with freckles


I thought the world of him...




...But the Major found out and sacked him


And told him about little Sarah


The poor lad said he needed to go away for a while


“You’ll be back?” I asked; he said “….maybe”


(sad now) ...but he never did...(SHE CRIES)


After that, nothing mattered


My life just ebbed away


One lousy year after another


And this is what’s left today…




“Would you like to get confession Nell?


If you like, I’ll get Father Breen”


“No child; I’ll take my chances with God


I think He’ll be fairer than men


But thank you for listening to my dreary tale


Now quickly be on your way


There must be a thousand things you have to do


Isn’t tomorrow Christmas Day?”




At that, Nell became very quiet


And the young nurse decided to go


She’d come back maybe later...


For she was not to know


That poor Nell had told her story


For the first and only time


It was to be her final act in life…


…a life that was far from kind




There was no-one at her funeral


Just that nurse and couple of friends


What could poor Nell have possibly done?


To deserve such a lonely end


As the coffin lowered on Christmas Day


The young nurse felt bitter sorrow


And wondered how many more Nells there might be


In this great Island of Saints and Scholars








Willie Egan: Christmas 2019

 *The names have been changed





What our Students Say

"Really enjoyed it; highlight of the week, every week. Lecturer was fantastic"
Certificate Student 2013, Dublin West

What our Students Say

"I found this module extremely informative. I feel that I have gained a huge wealth of insight into childhood / adolescent developmental stages. I feel ready to take on this demanding work".
2012-2013 Student - Postgraduate Certificate in Child and Adolescent Counselling & Psychotherapy
Web Design by Active Online © Copyright 2018 PCI College
PCI College, Corrig House, Old Naas Road, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, Ireland
Tel: +353 (0)1 464 2268 info@pcicollege.ie
Privacy statement |Terms & Conditions |websites for education |