by Kian Boland

Ireland early 1900’s a story to be told
of De Valera’s choices both cruel and cold.
Many call it cowardice; perhaps one of his many schemes,
In an effort to protect himself from the Irish people’s extremes.
In the midst of struggle all that could be
heard was the republican song,
He stated “The majority have no right to do wrong.”
His controversial decisions debated forevermore,
De Valera’s legacy, tarnished on the floor.

Reproduced with kind permission of the author. This poem was composed in a Poetry as Commemoration workshops held at The Jackie Clarke Collection, Mayo, with students from St. Murdach’s College, Ballina, in October 2023.  The workshop was led by writer Martin Dyer.

Cover image: Photograph Eamon de Valera, seated, holding a magazine. UCD School of History and Archives. UCD Archives. Photographs from the Papers of Frank Aiken (1898–1983). P104/3268