The Golden Bridge, by Sarah FitzGibbon

Sc.1 Midnight in winter – Jack is in bed but wide awake and can’t sleep.

Jack: What kind of stupid answer is that! How can you not know where you are from? I’m Jack I’m from Inchicore, Dublin 8. My mum is Joanne. She is from Inchicore Dublin 8. How difficult is that!!

Flash back – Kitchen table – daytime
Jack: So Granny ( reading) your full name please.
Granny: Very formal. My name is Ann Kelly
Jack: Where are you from?
Granny: That’s the question love…I don’t know, I just don’t know.

Jack: I asked Mum why granny doesn’t know where she is from, she said not to mind. She’s from Goldenbridge. I know the Golden bridge. I can see it from my window. It is grey in the daytime but look at it at night, it’s golden…golden bridge. There’s the old spooky convent, the canal, the Luas but no houses…maybe there was once… I see a boy.. By the Golden Bridge… he is too near the water. He is too near the swans. Be careful..

Sc. 2-

Two boys face each other on the golden bridge. They are like mirror images of each other. Except for an ugly bruise on Peter’s face. He is holding a large feather.

Jack: You should be careful, those swans can be dangerous ….And it is deeper than you think…

Jack: Does it hurt? My pal Daniel got a black eye from an elbow in yard but it is nothing like that.

Jack: Where did you get that ( the feather) ?

Peter: The swan gave it me.

Jack: Get away-

Peter: I am not a liar…


Jack: Ok….where  are you from?


Peter: I don’t know

Jack: How can you not know! Where is your Mum from?

Peter: I don’t know… All I know is that we are bad children. Some people might give us a home but we’ll always be bad because that is how we were made. The nuns do their best but they can’t fix us. They just keep us cos no one else wants to… so I think I am from GoldenBridge

Jack: That is where my granny is from

Peter: She left?!….

O, to have a little house!
To own the hearth and stool and all!*

Peter: Wouldn’t it be lovely to be as white and soft as this feather instead of sore and hard….

Peter waves his hand, another feather appears.

Sc. 3- morning

Granny (a letter in hand):  Wake up Jack! I know where I am from… Mayo… the country.

Granny: Where did you get that (feather)?

Jack: Peter gave it to me….He had this massive bruise.

Granny: I knew a Peter in the orphanage with me. A real trick of getting feathers off the swans. Got a bad beating…never saw him again. Poor fella!
Do you know what, nothing beats knowing where you’re from. You can stand on your own two feet and own the ground beneath them. No one can take that from you.

You are from here Inchicore and your granny…. Your granny is a Culchie**

*the old woman of the roads by Padraic Colum

**a description used in Dublin to describe someone from rural Ireland


Sarah FitzGibbon has been creating work by, for and with young people for too long. This makes her ancient in the eyes of those she works with which is a tragedy.

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