The Broken Barracks

by St Mary's NS, Arva

In September 1920, the 25th of the month,

Around 11.30pm on Main Street,

All was calm before the storm

Would Culley’s warning come to pass.


All was peaceful but something was afoot

It was pitch black outside

The air was crisp outside

But inside the air was full of tobacco and fear.


Starting with a loud crash from next door

A commotion in Corcoran’s 

Interrupted the card game

A rustle in the chimney some soot fell down


Constable John Broderick got up

Cautiously peeked out of the window

A stealthy shadow approached

At that moment realisation set in


In nineteen -twenty, twenty minutes

Of open fire

And home-made bombs

The IRA achieved their goal.

Written by Sophia Cadden, Alisha Kiernan, CJ O’Reilly and Timur Petrov as part of Poetry as Commemoration workshops led by Frank Galligan in  St. Mary’s NS, Arva, Co. Cavan, in October 2022.