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From IRA victim Máiría Cahill another poem that won no prize in the Martin McGuinness Peace Foundation contest

Tom Winnifrith
Wednesday 24 March 2021
Máiría Cahill waived anonymity to expose her sexual abuse at the hands of the IRA. She is a brave person unlike Easter Egg distributor Gerry Adams and his utterly unlamented late partner in crime Martin McGuinness. The “Peace Foundation” honouring the Butcher of Londonderry, who almost certainly did personally kill people for the IRA, is running a poetry contest. Sentimental fools such as Joe Biden or Owen Jones who like to romanticise the evil Fenian bastards should read Cahill’s entry which, oddly, has won no prize. The BBC which frequently rewrites history so that our kids can be taught a false narrative should broadcast this poem. Everyone should read this poem.
 
They say one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.
Maybe that’s true, though I don’t remember much freedom in the initial days.
Barricaded in, watching
yer man swanning about with his M60 glinting.
Him, his gun, and a gaggle of curious kids poking their noses into what shouldn’t have been their business.
Washing on the line fluttered, marking the territory of the housewife, while a few yards away he loaded the boot with a bomb and smiled for the camera.
This was his area, his and the housewives.
His life a juxtaposition. Loved and loathed in equal measure. Breaking bread for a sup of soup in one house, drawing blood in another.
Courting and killing, managed like old contemporaries.
You’d wonder how someone could swing off the altar rails one minute, and kneel and tell a woman wrapping her rosary beads round her wrinkled hands the next -
That her son was safe to come home.
Rose’s boy, coaxed on a wing and a prayer;
Found cocooned in a sheet with a bullet through his brain not long after.
Whatever you say, say nothing.
For decades the fisherman cast his fly and reeled in the young men, the madmen – and caught and dumped the dead men. Later, the churchmen and the statesmen tripped over themselves to deliver
A eulogy fit for a peacemaker,
but not for a life-taker.
Some buried their Chieftain, others their villain.
All is not fair in love and war…
Another woman couldn’t bury a body
When all that was left of her husband was a zip.
You asked for poetry to remember his legacy. What rhymes with Patsy Gillespie?
 
Ends

For Owen Jones, Joe Biden et al, 42-year-old Patsy Gillespie was 
forced to drive an IRA car bomb into the checkpoint at Coshquin, while his wife and children were held at gunpoint in October 1990. As Mr Gillespie – a civilian cook at Londonderry army base – drove to the base on the Donegal border, the bomb was detonated by remote control, killing him and five soldiers. His body was unrecoverable. He died on his eldest son’s 18th birthday. Martin McGuinness almost certainly knew of and approved the operation as it was on his patch. He was the commander of the (sic) Derry Brigade. He later said Patsy was a legitimate target of war.
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About Tom Winnifrith
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Tom Winnifrith is the editor of TomWinnifrith.com. When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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