© Aine Kelly 2018. All Rights Reserved.
The month it is February the year is 2018, I am sitting on the lough shore.
It feels like I’m in an endless dream.
A lonely curlew glides silently and freely on his way.
I feel a calmness so blessed by those shores of old Lough Neagh.
The grass is soft and verdant green, the air is fresh and clean,
But sitting here for me just now means more than just a dream.
For I am in a bar-less cell without freedom or choice
And the land I love is torn apart by bitterness, hate and strife.
I have lived through the bad times and many innocent lives were lost,
But who really bothered? They didn’t give a toss.
That was a time we tried to be equals in our homeland
In utter desperation we were determined to make a stand.
Thirty long years plus we lived in that raging hell
And the lives and loves that were lost there, no words can ever tell.
We were always welcoming to the stranger coming to our beautiful land
We thought they were just like us, but they had Machiavellian and devious plans.
They took away our homes and lands. They stripped us of our rights
And from that day onwards denied all our human rights.
It was then that we realised the ‘planters’ were here to stay…
They took away our Irishness in the most cruel and brutal way.
The years rolled by and how we cried
But there was no one to hear our pleas
The wickedness grew from year to year
And they did just as they pleased.
Back in 1921 my father an Irishman born and bred
But by 1922 his heritage and identity was stone dead.
They rigged up a border across my country
They put us all in no man’s land and no longer free.
They sent us a message, one that was loud and clear,
That message we got from them was we want no Irish here.
All this despite an Irish vote when the people spoke loud and clear
In overwhelming numbers proclaimed loudly we want no partition here.
That vote was ignored you know the rest…
So in my own country, in my own town I became a stranger
Despised and hated by the forces of the crown.
We had no vote or housing and to be ourselves was taboo.
Despite being bullied and beaten we would just not lie down,
But defeat is something the Irish don’t do
And so we struggled on hard though it is to do.
What is so hard to understand? You are making us strangers in our own land.
All we want is to live in peace and dignity free of sectarian bigotry.
We don’t want to do anything more that to live in freedom not even the score!
There shouldn’t be a DUP who can thrash our right to dignity
And equality voting all the proposals we make.
Our voice is real, our causes just and that’s why change is a must.
An election is what we have to call and ask for
The vote from one and all, then the injustices can be put to rest…
A United Ireland a country free it has to change via you and me.
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