War of Independence and Civil War

by Amy Abdullah Barry

On barren fields
Hopes and heroes of revolution lie,
Their freedom
Shackled by English pennies
Placed over each eye;

Freedom in sadness and grief
Of Bloody Sunday.
Those memories frayed:
“Don’t speak of them!”

Yet, at the inquest,
Joseph MacDonagh stands,
Describes the bitter Thomas Patrick Ashe’s
Death like scraps,
A flutter in the rising wind.

Medals and faded documents
Lie heavy on the fold table
Where history and memory
Are worded and
Standardised into text-books.

Reproduced with kind permission of the author. This poem was composed in Poetry as Commemoration workshops held at the Thomas MacDonagh Museum on 20th and 21st of September, 2023. The workshops were led by poet Thomas McCarthy.

Cover Image: Remember Ashe! /By Phil O’Neill. UCD Library. UCD Library Special Collections. Towards 2016. 34.Va.4/25