With due observance to prudence, justice, and charity…

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With due observance to prudence, justice, and charity*…

Of course

we all stand together

whenever our nation

is threatened.

“Tiocfaidh ár lá!”

And we all stand together

whenever our pockets

are threatened.

“Is fearr an tsláinte ná na táinte!”

We all know the chorus

of the fields of Athenry

where the free birds fly,

and whiskey in the jar

whack for my daddy-o.

We know

the first words

of the national anthem

“Sinne Fianna Fáil”

Those words

and how many years

of winks and nods,

got us by,

they didn’t cost us much.

We’re all aware

that the British are all pigs

but we never thought

that the orange men would

have a place on our flag

or that rugby

would be played in Croke Park

without a revival of the act of union,

but the winks and nods…

the winks and nods,

and the sweaty red faced bastards

in suits, stained with gravy.

Isn’t it time

to let them go the way

of the countryside

that would be

“joyous with the romping

of sturdy children,

the contest of athletic youths

and the laughter of happy maidens…”

to quote De Valera.

But no the winks and nods remain,

they’re in the anthem,

and you saw Michael Collins,

and The Wind that Shakes the Barley

and Eamon de Valera

is infallible,

despite being American.

*Preamble; Bunreacht na hEireann

Liam Duffy is a student of Public and Social Policy at the National University of Ireland, Galway, where he was the editor of their Writers Society’s magazine the Sharp Review. He recently took a break from Ireland to check out the poetry scene in Finland and study at the University of Helsinki. He has most recently been published in A Hudson view, The Rain town review, the anthology Emergency verse- poetry in defence of the welfare state. and read at the West Cork Literary Festival in Ireland as part of a reading dubbed: Irish Poets: A New Generation.

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