My Grandfather's Medal

by Mary Conefrey

John McGovern was a proud man on the twenty-fourth of April, 1957,
When awarded a War of Independence Military Service Medal.
The son of a poor widowed farmer from the townland of Drumna.
In his early twenties, he had answered the call for freedom’s cause.
He joined as an active volunteer in the local Cloone Company Brigade.
Where he displayed his ability to be courageous, dutiful and earnest.

John treasured his medal until the day he died in March, 1969.
It was then guarded by his daughter, Bridget, my mother.
Now, a century after he took part in the War of Independence.
The medal is in the hands of his great-grandson, Derek, my son.
The great Irish Republic we now live in, is a much better place.
Due to brave patriots like John McGovern from Drumna, Cloone.

Reproduced with kind permission of the author. Mary Conefrey is the granddaughter of John McGovern. She participated in Poetry as Commemoration workshops in Leitrim County Library, Ballinamore, facilitated by Mary Melvin Geoghegan in October and November 2023.