Letter to Ireland, August 2011


Dear Ireland,

In little more than a week I will be gone. Two months and bit seemed a long time when I had first planned the trip. Fortunately, this letter is nothing to do with nostalgic goodbyes full of clichés about the speed of the weeks and the grass never being as green as anywhere but home. No, none of that, so you can be happy or sad as it makes no odds to the outcome of this letter.

It’s an odd situation having returned after a year and taken the time to really take in the changes. Of course I’ve done it before on plenty of occasions but this time I suppose I have been more analytical. I have had no honeymoon and attached radiant bride to obscure my opinions. I have not returned from England where I did not have a very good living experience. I have not returned to Ireland after a fleeting departure and return. Continue reading

December 2010 – A poem about Ireland

This poem was originally posted on this blog in 2010. I’m reposting it again, partly due to nostalgia and also because I believe there is something here that needs to be read.

Under a fallen fortress

returned to its use as a post office

celebrities stood and shouted,

explaining their rules of engagement:

we do not want you to do

what you are doing;

why won’t you take us to ruin

the way we want you to?

Lit by the light of flares

on ice trodden streets

children don’t play in;

sell out, bail out, get out,

among other complaints

shouted with the vigour

of beleaguered football fans.

On the other hand:

arrangements in the shape of twelve point five

should do enough to maintain some jobs

as someone has to pay for the plans

to pay for the money that everyone borrowed;

sure, how were we to know that someday

someone might want to get it back?

All our fault apparently,

the money from Brussels

A.K.A. Der Bundes Republik.

that is what the television

told me of the situation

a mere 8999 kilometres away,

with wonderful graphics flashing

in the direction of what looks like

a thirty-two county republic:

at least the Sinners will

be happy about that.


“There’ll be some very worried homes this Christmas”

but that’s what they say every seventh

and two weeks later it’s all down the pub

for the last of the Christmas pints now,

the last Christmas pints there now folks.

*Price not effected by the recession*


This is where we stand today

waiting again for someone to say

that Ireland will be alright,

just be sure to keep warm in the night.

I see young fellas are emigrating less

no one will have anyone from our mess.

At least there is an election soon

but most of us would rather gallows

where heads could be removed to a rebel tune

played by mighty tricolour draped fellows

singing songs of the decisions of an awful goon

and a dome of pleasure now a tree, rotten hollow.

The Wild Geese would hang their heads

Don’t follow them yet, we must bury our dead.

– By Conor O’Reilly
© 2010