Daniel McDonagh - hunger strikers poetry

Bobby Sands


The sky was black with grief & anger,

The rain, it fell with the strength of steel,

Ireland wept for a fallen son

As his soul & spirit was delivered to freedom.


The legends of Ireland mourned as one

As the strength was taken from Bobby Sands,

Cuchulainn's spirit awoke the fighting souls

Who saw a hero perish within a British jail.


The ghost of Irelandís heroes

they walk again once more,

the battlecry has been raised

to rid the British from Irelandís shores.


Freedom's bird hid within her nest

As Bobby Sands was laid to rest,

Within the midnight sky, among the brightest stars,

His words are forever echoed, Tiocfaidh Ar La.


Francis Hughes


Take me back to Bellaghy

Back into my motherís arms,

Let me walk the fields and meadows

Of every Tamlaghtduff farm.


Let me stand beneath a blue summer sky

Let me taste and feel the rain and hail

For now, all I have for company

Is the dungeon of an H-Block cell.


Let me walk the streets of Bellaghy

As a proud Irishman and free,

Let me break the shackles of injustice

And be free of Britainís tyranny.


Let my dreams last an eternity

Let Ireland be my guiding light,

For never again will I walk Erinís shore

As my hunger strike will be my last fight.


Patsy OíHara


On the 30th day of my hunger strike

James Connolly came me to in a dream,

Bringing with him the volunteers

Of whom he led in 1916.


He told me to be strong and relentless

For Irelandís strength is the will to fight,

And courage should be my pride and honor

As I grow weak during my hunger strike.


He introduced me to the Easter Rising leaders

That my grandfather would often talk off,

Standing by his side were Pearse and Plunkett,

MacDermott, Clarke and Thomas MacDonagh.


He spoke to me of my home in Derry

Of the vigils that are held each day,

And before he left, he softly whispered,

ďI shall wait for you by heavenís gate.Ē


 Raymond McCreesh


I am an Irishman born under British rule,

A prisoner since my mother gave birth,

I have seen catholic families evicted, saw their homes being burned

By a rampaging mob of murdering Loyalists.


I saw young men battered and beaten

By the strong arm of the British Army,

I took a vow to God and Ireland

That I would help to set my country free.


I saw Ulster become a battlefield

As the angels in heaven cried,

I heard the mortar bombs and bullets speak,

I read the names of comrades who died.


I joined the Provisional IRA

To destroy the chains of slavery

That for 800 years we have struggled to break;

I gave my life to God and to my country.  


Joe McDonnell


Goodbye young Joseph, I will never see you grow

Or see you play football for the green, white and gold,

It pains my heart so dearly, but my days; they are but few,

However, when I close my eyes, I will always think of you.


Goodbye to my daughter, Bernadette, the angel of my heart

I am sorry that I can no longer; take you for walks in the park,

Remember, that your daddyís love will never, ever fade,

As I will stand by your side, through your lonely days.


Goodbye to my wife, Goretti, I will miss the beauty of your eyes

That captured my heart and soul under Belfastí troubled sky,

My love for you, an eternal flame, please treasure and please keep,

For I will visit you every single night, while you soundly sleep.


Goodbye to dear old Ireland, your freedom I will never taste

As my deathbed has been made by the hands of the Brits,

To the young men of ”glaigh na h…ireann, who follow in my path

May you carry the soul and spirit of each fallen Irish comrade


Kieran Doherty


The Lark has lost the will to fly,

On Belfastí streets, the mourners stand,

Britainís hand has forced the death

Of the revolutionary, Kieran Docherty.


In Andersonstown, were the bold tricolour flies

Grandfather talked of Connolly and Collins,

But in August of í81, he cried another tear

As he walked in the procession behind Kieran Dochertyís coffin.


As Ireland buries her heroes and martyrs,

Britain should hang her head in shame,

As Kieran Docherty fought for freedom

And gave his life to Irelandís name.


In the H-Block cells, he spoke of resistance

As his spirit fought the brutality and torture,

His soul will live for a thousand generations

As he died for Ireland, an Irish Republican soldier.


Kevin Lynch


Irelandís soil is soaked in blood,

Gravestones for a thousand heroes,

The tricolour flyís in Ulsterís sky

Defying the imperialist foe.


On Derryís streets walk the souls

Of fourteen innocent Nationalist,

Their screams are heard as we lie in bed,

Assassinated by the murdering British.


The armies of ancient Irish kings

Stand idle by heavenís shore,

They plead to God to set them free

To march upon Thatcherís door.


Kevin Lynch lies in a prison cell

Whispering, softly, his last breath,

A candle burns throughout the night

Until Ireland learns of our comrades death.


 Martin Hurson


On Irelandís land is were I stand

As the rising sun appears,

No prison cell, no Brits do yell,

As my soul has been set free.


I walk with Connolly & MacDonagh

While larks fly freely, nestle in trees,

Irelandís sky is free of cloud,

Oh, fallen comrades, let your souls awake now.


Freedom is still a blooded stain

As the shackles havenít broke from Britainís chains,

But my fight continues for dear old Ireland,

For I am the resurrection, the soul of Martin Hurson.


Thomas McElwee


James Connollyís spirit

I wish to inherit

The passion of Pearse

I wish to claim


The strength of Collins

Would make me determined,

Tom Barryís leadership

To hold Irelandís flame.


As Ireland stands

With her angel wings

The souls of the dead,

Aloud, they sing,


Bring back the armies

Of ancient Irish kings,

For the freedom bell,

Once again, will ring.


Michael Devine

The green flag of Connolly

Stands high in Irelandís sky,

Where the leader of the Citizen Army

Has Pearse & MacDonagh by his side.


And they stand by the gravesides

where the Hunger Strikers sleep,

as their sacrifice was their freedom,

as the lonely Lark still weeps.


Within the Celtic hills

Cuchailinn and his men,

who with the heroes of 1916

shall make Ireland free again,


Free from British tyranny

Ireland will stand as one,

and the lonely Lark will find her nest

in the hearts of Irelandís sons.



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