Poems included in the Sligo Nationalist 1914
The Sligo Nationalist once again was the Sligo local newspaper which published the greatest number of poems during 1914. Most of these were published in the first half of the year. After the outbreak of war very few were published. This may have been caused at least in part, by space shortages due to weekly inclusion of war news and also to the reduced number of pages due to war economies.
John Gillan, an employee of the newspaper, once again contributed a large number of poems, ten in 1914. These are his usual fare, descriptions of local happenings and events and of his own adventures. They contain fascinating glimpses of Sligo life and characters of the time such as the reference to the bird seller "Tommy Anderson of Harmony Hill" and the upcoming wedding of nearly 70 year old "Private John “Kruger”".
He also chronicles the important public events, the rise of the Volunteers, the untimely death of Daniel O'Donnell and the celebration of the passing of Home Rule. The death of his mother is also marked and he writes a short eight line verse within a week of her death, a complete contrast to his usual long wordy compositions.
Many of the poems published in 1914 have Leitrim references. The newspaper may have had a large circulation there or a very active Dromahair correspondent. At least some were actually written by the Dromahair correspondent. Most of these are in praise of local scenery but one has political relevance, being a comic response to the possibility "That "William’s sons" with wooded guns will attack poor Dromahair?".
The impending passing of Home Rule is marked by a poem by Thomas A. Waldron and the same issue has a poem on the rebellion of 1798 which may be an attempt to link the Irish Party and its achievements with previous attempts by physical force nationalist to achieve freedom.
In December the newspaper published the only poem with a war reference, "Our Fallen Dead", which is a straightforward hymn of praise for those fighting and dying on the allied side in the war -
Irish writer, Teresa Brayton, who had published her first book of poetry in 1913, is represented by two poems in the newspaper in January and June and a Ballintogher writer contributed an account of a local establishment “Johnny’s Rendezvous”which was published in June. All it lacks is references to some local individuals, especially those whose "wit and talent" it thinks would suit the soon to be established Irish Parliament.
The Words of "Ninety Eight"
Old Father Donohoe
Home Rule Year
The Sligo Volunteers
The Doings in Sligo
The Carsonite Brigade
God Save All Here
The Abbey Hotel
A Few Lines on the Beauties etc of Dromahair
Sligo Volunteers Their First Drill
Lines on the Funeral of Ald. O'Donnell Ex-
The Railway Station
Ave Marie "Lourdes"
On a Leitrim Hill
Lines on Hazelwood Races
Death of Mrs Gillen, Sligo
Home Rule Night in Sligo
Sing a Song of Leitrim
A Trip on the Eileen
Our Fallen Braves
Thomas A Waldron
N.J. McGeoy, Messenger of the Sacred Heart
J.C. Lyons ? In the Dromahair Notes
In Dromahair Notes
in Ballintogher Notes
George A. Suttle