19th December, 1923: My Father is Released from Tintown ‘2’

by Úna Crowe

 I search through the train’s speed

for a glimpse of the Curragh

where you boarded, 

your one-way ticket to Thurles

and Uncle Paddy’s suitcase

in your hand.

Gifts from jail –

silver shillings and half-crowns

pounded into brooches and rings –

Taras and Claddaghs.

Aunty Mary wore hers: 40 years

married to a Cause!


Home, for your mountain Christmas

knowing Freedom

is a state of mind.

Some had forgotten you, 

and many who remembered 

showed you 

the back of their hand. 

Reproduced with kind permission of the author. This poem was composed in Poetry as Commemoration workshops held at Tipperary Studies in March 2023. The workshops were led by writer David McLoghlin.