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Pól Ó Lorcáin
Paul Larkin

Chroniclers are privileged to enter where they list, to come and go through keyholes, to ride upon the wind, to overcome in their soarings up and down, all obstacles of distance, time and place.
Charles Dickens - Barnaby Rudge, Chapter The Ninth

Home is not a word

When we left, or fled, or fell in the ditches,
We became the gap in the triangle
Between Galway, Offaly and Tipp.

Hung, starved, and evicted, our lands confiscated
We were vanished for an alien economic convenience
There are no words in Irish for "it is mine".

Is liomsa é. It is with me

Where once were Larkins, Muintir Uí Lorcáin,
As many Larkins as salmon in the mighty flowing Shannon
We were thousands and thousands strong

We were scribes and seers, carriers and defenders of the knowledge
Our ancient name etched into the parchments, walls and tombstones
From Portumna to Meelick to Clonmacnoise , the Larkin homeland

Along Loch Derg and all above
Drained and slugged into the tides of history
Dragged and bound the kings of fish asphyxiating backwards

Red eyed with the leaving of the river and the loch
For all roads run to it and ever our minds turned to it
Never a day, hour, minute with the same skyscape
Clouds building and water running and grass lush
But it had no bite to sustain or hold us
Only the bitter bile of regret on the road to God knows where

God save Ireland said the heroes
Strung out along the roads
From Manchester to Australia

Michael Larkin dangling still

And the few survivors left dumb and never spoke of it
Exactly how we became stateless
Mentally banished and physically stranded

Then a miracle

Wriggling and struggling out of derelict mudflats
In the far flung corners of the earth
We swam against the tide of unconcern and went back


Pól Ó Lorcáin/Paul Larkin
Port Omna/Portumna




The Manchester Martyrs were Fenians, members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood executed for killing a policeman during a prison escape. William O'Mera Allen, Michael Larkin, and Michael O'Brien were hanged in Salford, England on 23 November 1867. These men were caught after having taken part in the attack on a police van carrying two leaders of the Brotherhood, Colonel Thomas J. Kelly and Captain Timothy Deasy. The incident took place on the borders of West Gorton and Ardwick, to the immediate southeast of Manchester city centre.
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Title: Home is not a word
Date posted: 15 Jul '09 - 10:24
Filed under: General
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