Bab M'Keen: The Wit and Wisdom of an Ulster Scot

Bab M'Keen: The Wit and Wisdom of an Ulster Scot

Jack Adams

Bab M’Keen was a fictional character, quite typical of the Ballymena area, created by John Wier who was owner and editor of the Ballymena Observer weekly newspaper between 1886 and 1927. When John Wier died, William Wier took over from his father until 1946, and his son, Major Jack Wier, continued the family tradition until 1970.

The Wiers were also responsible for 65 editions of the Ballymena and Mid-Antrim Almanac and Directory (better known as Bab M’Keen’s Almanac) between 1889 and 1954.

Through Bab M’Keen, the Wiers were able to provide the readership of the Observer and Almanacs with a colourful interpretation of the happenings of their day in a language they understood.

‘Bab M’Keen’ wrote in the common braid Ulster-Scots of his time and therefore this sample of his writings is as precious for its recording of language as it is for its insight into local social history.

You might also like