What matters now, who did the deed, who fired the fatal shot?
A soldier died by his comrades’ side; a coward he was not!
He fought to set old Erin free, from an Empire’s bloody grasp
In the GPO at Easter, with Plunkett, Connolly, Pearse and Clark
Surrendering, near broke his heart, but a soldier follows orders
Mick vowed that day, He’d Make ‘em Pay! the fight could not be over
And when the time had come again, he knew no pause nor frown
But orchestrated a deadly war, against the British Crown
He shouted, ‘No’ when Dev said ‘Go’, to London for the Treaty
But once again, like all good men, the soldier did his duty
Passions raised, could not be swayed, and former friends lost faith
Shure that’s the price of Civil War – a shameful, bloody waste
Sad of all, in his beloved Cork, at a place called Béal na mBláth
The Laughing Boy would meet his end, in a fearless, last hurrah!
Daring Mick, escape artist, the shadow behind The Squad
The spy, the ghost, TD and Chief, less man it seems, than God
Michael Collins, remember him, for I swear the time has come
The legend who whipped the Sassenachs; Ireland’s rebel son.
Reproduced with kind permission of the author. This poem was composed in Poetry as Commemoration workshops held at Newbridge Library in January 2023. The workshops were led by writer Debbie Thomas and archivist Karel Kiely using archival material from the Curragh Internment Camp during the War of Independence.