A MEMBER of An Garda Síochána has helped lift the spirits of nursing home residents in county Tipperary with a rendition of one of Ireland's favourite folk songs.
Garda sergeant Len Conaty performed The Green Fields of France-- also known as Willie McBride-- for the delighted staff and residents of Mount Carmel Nursing Home as part of a collaboration with charity Age Friendly Ireland.
The popular folk song, first written by Scottish musician Eric Bogle, has been covered by multiple Irish artists in the past, including The Fureys and the Dropkick Murphys, and is a staple in any Irish singalong.
The song tells the heartbreaking tale of Willie McBride, who lost his life fighting in the first World War, with the lyrics asking "did they beat the drum slowly, did they play the fife lowly, did they sound the death march as they lowered you down?".
While the lyrics of the song are far from uplifting, Sgt Conaty's rendition gave the Mount Carmel nursing home residents a much-needed boost, as they have been separated from family and friends since Ireland went into lockdown to protect people against Covid-19.
An Garda Síochána Tipperary posted a video of the performance to their official Facebook page, with the caption:
"Sgt Conaty giving it socks with young Willie McBride for staff and residents at Mount Carmel Nursing in Tipperary with Age Friendly Ireland."
Gardaí have been involved in community policing since the pandemic hit Irish shores, delivering essential items to the vulnerable, helping children celebrate their birthdays with drive-by parties, and taking guide dogs for exercise as their owners remain indoors.
Check out the video below, and for the Dropkick Murphys version with lyrics, click here.