Hardships and Comforts - Ireland 1922-2022

by Mary Guckian

In the grandest part of Dublin,

At Room 112, the Shelbourne Hotel,

signing of the Constitution of Ireland

took place in Nineteen Twenty Two.

Little grandeur in Ireland then,

mostly no running water or electricity.

Kettles boiling over open fires, coats 

drying over the backs of chairs after

drenchings cycling to school where rat

holes strewn over floors alongside

daily beatings & batterings of children.


Today school rooms on the television,

full of art and beauty, lots of books,

Our free education moving us

towards global technology and lots of

opportunities in the wider world.

Mothers allowed keep their babies

as our politicians shine on radio

and television, articulate, empathetic.


Welcoming new people from war

torn countries, enriching our diets,

later they give us cosy restaurants

where we dine in comfort, introducing 

a variety of coffees, cakes and food.

Their music and art, acting, singing,

writing, boosting our entertainment.

Now and again we eat takeaway meals,

or go for a mid week break in hotels.


Scrimping all my life to own a home,

now enjoying vast changes in an 

Ireland that continues to grow

Through radio programmes we keep on 

trying to catch up and spread fairness

as politicians work towards achieving

a greater equality, democracy & human rights.

Reproduced with kind permission of the author. Mary Guckian is a Leitrim born poet living in Dublin. Her poems have been widely published in literary magazines and newspapers. Published collections include Perfume of the Soil, The Road to Gowel and Walking on Snow (Swan Press).