Finalist: Ireland: The March of Time

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Ireland : The March Of Time

From the brave men and women who started it all,to the brave now who have the ability to do all
Take their passion  and rise with it

1916 ,Ireland’s call ,war upon war ,temporary fall
Refusing to compromise integrity till death, forming of the Dail; breaking  barriers ,standing tall
Bloodshed  forever  stirring in minds, weapons forever ready

Economic  war, swallowing a nations food and pride ,burning everything British except coal
People of Ireland  gripping their dignity with dear life, on icy tenement floors
No longer scattered with the opulence of gentry life

And De Valera’s maidens ,they danced on crossroads
While others travelled country roads to catch boat trains to somewhere
The emergency rolling in firing any existing piece to pieces

As emigration crests, Her children shuffle off boat trains, dreams lying in faraway places
People making journeys even today to exotic places with or without dismay
Or just making do in hotel rooms and doorways, fit for humans few

Rural areas and minds electrified ,the distant glow of cities shining evermore
They heard the thud of Nelson falling at his point of victory
The sweep of hope ,the swinging sixties, recovery at its core

Women no longer tied to their given roles, coming into their own, in state, home and society
For they were all dancing in the moonlight, their bell bottoms swishing
Huddling around radios as a new culture greeted young and old

Divisions becoming deeper and deeper, leaving graves at each side of the border
A time of fear, repercussions of marching dangerously unclear

Liberation, culture, feminism, style, attitudes shifting as furiously as those heading for Dublin
Or the women on trains fighting for their reproductive freedom
CRASH BANG recession word of the day for so long then and on
Religion no longer the opium of the people, finding other ways to be saved

Then Ireland was ranting, raving, dancing and craving a new connected world
Eyes fixed on blue computer screens, oblivious to the birdsong outside their window
As dial tones commanded their attention instead, they marched on

A cosmopolitan Ireland diversity bursting from its sides, with young and old lapping up ‘tiger times’
Buying, selling, loaning concrete dreams ,granted then crushed a wreckage left in its wake
One way flights, unemployment rising complimented by ghost estates, but ‘we will get through it’
The old men in pubs said and so we did, winning Olympic medals fit for those mighty 1916 rebels

Here we are ,an island of great change ,of startling rise and fall , culture forever indebted
Pride of county and country  in music, culture and GAA etched in minds during these diverse times
Where all are free to love and love deeply, free to speak and be heard clearly, we are  ready
Images of those who fought  for our freedom cascaded on postage stamps, reminder of the passing of time
The innocents, the heroes, the dreamers, for them the march of time succeeds their wanted freedom


Louise Dunphy
Our Lady of Mercy Secondary School