Volunteer John Ryan Castlefergus Cattle Drive – 1918

by Geraldine Burke

Tender were your twenty three years
As your father dried your mother’s tears
Reminding her of your lack of fear
As you lay dying on Liddy’s kitchen table
Where your comrades carried you
To die a free man
Proud to die for Ireland

“The bullocks for the road
The land for the people”
Your cried on that fateful morning
But the foemen struck you down in your prime
Leaving your mother crying
Crying, crying, crying
Yet another war crime

Na bulláin le haghaidh an bhóthair
A talamh do na daoine

Reproduced with kind permission of the author. This poem was composed in a Poetry as Commemoration workshop held at Limerick Museum in May 2023. The workshop was led by writer David McLoghlin.