All This Destruction Around Me

by Joe O'Connor

I look around and see

All this destruction around me.

I think about everything I’ve seen,

And wonder how someone could be so mean. 

I mourn for all the family and friends I miss,

While I try to understand the cause of all this.


When Collins signed the treaty,

He thought everyone was happy,

But when he signed the Treaty

He broke all peace and harmony.

When he saw it, De Valera wanted more,

So he turned on his friend and started a war.


We were fighting the same enemy

Until Collins signed the Treaty.

We turned on our sisters, our brothers,

Our fathers, our mothers,

There’s fighting in Cork, Dublin and Belfast, 

While we’re just praying it doesn’t last.

Written by Joe O’Connor as part of Poetry as Commemoration workshops led by Lucinda Jacob in St. Matthew’s National School, Sandymount in May 2022.