The Irish Civil War

by Isabella Craig

It all started on 28th June 1922,

A war when the Irish turned against each other,

Mass destruction, chaos, devastation,

All caused from a singular Treaty.

It all started on 28th June 1922.


Are you pro- or anti-Treaty?

It will determine who you’ll be fighting for,

Which side are you on?

Although, either way, people will want you dead.

There’s no way you don’t want to be on a side,

No way, there has to be more!


A disastrous furore broke out when,

Michael Collins, along with his bodyguard,

Walked out the door.

Seems like compromise wasn’t an option anymore.


Kevin O’Higgins was also pro-Treaty,

Along with Michael Collins and others galore,

Formed the pro-Treaty side of this war.

But Rory O’Connor, Éamon de Valera and many others

Couldn’t stand it at all.

Altogether they formed the anti-Treaty side of the Civil War.


This put the once united country at war

Family, friends, everyone went at each other.

O’Higgins signed Rory O’Connor’s – his ‘best man’s’ – death warrant,

Michael Collins was shot near Bandon,

A beautiful poem was made in his memory.


It all started on 28th June 1922.

And only ended on 24th May 1923.

That was the Irish Civil War.

Written by Isabella Craig as part of Poetry as Commemoration workshops led by Lucinda Jacob in St. Matthew’s National School, Sandymount in May 2022.