by Leslie Wilson

Ah sure Michael James O’Loughlin, did you think your country cheered
With your heartfelt pledge to Ireland, when you went and volunteered
Did you swear to hate the British as you’d never done before
Where you a full blown Irish nationalist, in the Anglo – Irish war
Did the Easter Rising light a spark, somewhere deep inside
Did it bring you to the IRA, did it rouse your Fenian pride
You fought against the black and tans, your spirit filled with hate
Where friend and foe on both sides, would learn their pending fate
Then with the closing of the border, back in nineteen twenty one
A Civil War was looming, so you dusted off your gun
It was brother fighting brother, volunteers and soldiers died
A thousand fresh new graves to fill, while wives and mothers cried
You were wounded in your actions, when the Free State Army came
You stood before the firing squad, as they bellowed out your name
Did you say your prayers and make your peace, as you took the final bow
Ah sure Michael James O’Loughlin, you’re an Irish patriot now

Reproduced with kind permission of the author. This poem was composed in Poetry as Commemoration workshops held at The Belfast Linen Hall Library, Belfast, in 2022. The workshops were led by Maria McManus.