Signing Off'

by Elaine Westnott-O'Brien

The Department of Propaganda
would like to announce
the callous murder of unarmed men.
They were met at Shanacool Bridge,
surrounded by Black and Tans.
Four defenceless men forced down a lonesome road.
Three shot dead in a field.
We fancy fairly good
that this event
shows the rotten state of enemy forces.
Our men did not lose nerve,
nor run zig-zag.
Instead, one said:
‘Is mise, do chara’.

Reproduced with kind permission of the author. This poem was composed in a Poetry as Commemoration workshop at the Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI) on 12th of October, 2023. The workshops were led by poet Christodoulos Makris.

Inspired by a Letter from the Officer Commanding of the IRA in Listowel County Kerry detailing activities of the Black and Tans
Date: 14th May 1921
Collection: Administrative files of the early Dáil Éireann Secretariat, 1919-1922
Reference: DE/2/436(011)
Archive: National Archives of Ireland