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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

The Cork Brigade's 2014 Phoenix Park Ambush

Tomás Mac Curtain Cork Brigade Commandant and some of his staff, including Tadhg Barry and Terence Mac Swiney - picture taken 1915


The Cork Brigade's 2014 Phoenix Park Ambush

Down at the bottom of a deep stairwell
at the Phoenix Park Hotel
they faced me with their bold stares

Dauntless, MacSwiney, Mac Curtain and Tadhg Barry
waiting for me there

Like I was expected

Shot me with their jollity
their laughing at death
resolved to kill or be killed
for a People's Republic

Something desperate in their faces also
not quite believing
they had been called to do this

But an iron will sounding an aura about them
eyes with the gleam of destiny and Devil may care

Mac Swiney they could not break even with starvation
RIC men came with blackened faces to shoot down Mac Curtain
but thereby lodged his immortal star in the firmament
Voice of Labour Tadhg Barry interned with Lemass
shot through the heart at Ballykinlar

still tarries, still laughs

Look now at our meanspirited country
slaves to bankers and their fake fiscal rectitude
pot-bellied former radicals, their wobbling jowls
and florid faces exhorting us to scrape and cower

Hence the Cork Brigade's ambush -
a shocking remembrance
that death is sometimes preferable

@ Paul Larkin
Páirc an Fhionn Uisce
Meán Fómhair 2014

("The Cork Brigade's 2014 Phoenix Park Ambush" is the final poem in my forthcoming poetry collection - The Phoenix Park Murders )

Cic Saor aficionados who happen to be in the Phoenix Park area of Dublin will find a copy of this incredible picture in the lower stairwell of the recently (and very tastefully) upgraded Phoenix Park Hotel on the corner of Infirmary Road and Park Gate Street.

My comrade and SIPTU historian Trevor Quinn did me the kind service of sending me a digital version of the Cork Brigade Photograph. Trevor has done sterling work in publicising and honouring the life of poet, writer, socialist and revolutionary Tadhg Barry, as has Dr. Donal O'Drisceoill UCC who is currently writing a comprehensive book on Barry's life.

Míle buíochas ó chroí

An excellent film posted on YouTube "Tadhg Barry Remembered" see - has been produced by Frameworks Films in collaboration with the Cork Council of Trade Unions for broadcast on Cork Community Television. It was first broadcast on Cork Community Television on 5th May at 8pm.
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Title: The Cork Brigade's 2014 Phoenix Park Ambush
Date posted: 25 Sep '14 - 14:11
Filed under: General
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