The Fallen Leader.

The Fallen Leader

A few armed men lay in wait 

They were tired of waiting, it was getting late

As they peered from behind a road blockade

Their deadly plans had been carefully made

A motorcycle scout could be seen from afar

A crossley tender and an armoured car 

A touring car with the Big Fellow inside

In his own county,  he felt no need to hide

The convoy is coming, up went the shout

On a late August evening, shots rang out

In the confusion and the chaos all around

The fallen hero lay on the ground

His body limp and and deadly still

A shot fired from a nearby hill

A gaping wound in the side of his head 

His life drains away with the blood he has bled

The sorrow, the horror and overwhelming grief 

The sadness, the shock and the utter disbelief

An ocean of despair. A new nation’s tears

Would echo for generations down through the years

Blood spilt by another Irish man that day

Could never be truly washed away

How could we ever forget the pain

When the local boy had been slain

How had it come to this tragic end

A bitter war between friend and friend

Men who had fought side by side

Now on opposite ends of a vast divide 

Brother against brother, father against son

Threatened  the peace they had so dearly won

Families torn apart never to reconcile

Many young men would be forced into exile

Almost a century has passed since that fateful day

When a man’s life was taken away

At Béal na Bláth,  stands a grey stone cross

A reminder of man’s foolishness and a nation’s tragic loss.

C. Denis Murphy 22 August 2020.

On the 22nd of August 1922, Irish freedom fighter and leader of the new Provisional government was shot dead in an ambush by Anti -treaty I.R.A members. Ironically not too far from where he had been born and possibly by men he had known and grown up with.

Having lead the I.R.A in a bloody war for Independence against the British Empire and signed a treaty to end the war and gain a 26 county Free state,with self government but still part of the British Commonwealth.This however was not acceptable to some of those that had fought for full independence and so began a bloody civil war,Brother against brother, father against son..

 

 

 

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