‘The Winter Sleep of Captain Lemass’
The life of the country
Hardened against you
Like frost, and a new front
Opened—brother against brother,
Choice against choice,
Disputing the high ground. Your eyes,
Blindfolded, beheld the ideal State
As the real one steadied itself
To annihilate you.
How to survive it, the force of exclusion,
The freezing out of the soul
At the site of its own execution?
In the high cold, in the light snow
Of the Dublin mountains, a fox
Made its own tracks
And vanished ….
A single shot—
A hundred years of travelling echoes,
Family history, unmarked plots.
Noel Lemass was a member of the 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade. He along with his younger brother Seán (later Ireland’s fourth Taoiseach) took part in the Easter Rising where he fought at the GPO. He was employed as an Engineer in Dublin Corporation. When the Civil War broke out…
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