The Broken Bridge

by Tiernan O'Reilly

The 25th of September started
A normal day in Arvagh,
It was a damp foggy morning
Constable Coleman was making his way to work with John Broderick.

Later that evening equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
With Coleman and Broderick talking about upcoming sporting events
Such as Dublin and Tipperary’s game in Croke Park next month.

While exchanging tobacco,
Little did they know
The IRA were passing the broken bridge
From old Dromard to Arvagh.

Suddenly came a rustle from the chimney
Soot came crumbling down.
A gunshot from Corcoran’s broke the window
And a bomb came through the roof.

The R.I.C couldn’t hold on for long
The IRA were just too strong.
Uncle Sean McKeon had emerged victorious
And the first raid on a Cavan Barracks was a success.
The immediate aftermath was rather polite
With a man sent out to buy some whiskey
For the shaken Policemen, a real Cavan gesture,
Although it was a Longford man who was at the front.
I must note there was no order when the RIC left.

Written by Tiernan O’Reilly as part of Poetry as Commemoration workshops led by Frank Galligan in  St. Mary’s NS, Arva, Co. Cavan, in October 2022.