Ulster - Sligo Poets

Go to content

Main menu:

1912 > Sligo Poetry 1912 > Sligo Champion

           Sligo Champion 25 May 1912


When they get this Home Rule, their intentions are cool,
     Judged from the Redmond point of view;
To hoodwink us they mean, from their House, College Green
     Let them tell you what they may do.
Mister West Belfast Joe will run Dunville and Co.,
     The Island by Jerry McVeigh,
And then Workman and Clarke’s, with a few kind remarks,
     Will go to O’Connor, Tay Pay.

The tars on the lighters will all possess mitres,
     The skipper a Cardinal’s hat,
And the green mooring rope will be blessed by the Pope,
     Before they know what they are at.
The Grand Central Hotel will be called “The Parnell,”
     Royal Avenue–O’Connell Street,
And the famed Ulster Club be Molly Maguire’s pub,
     Where all the Land Leaguers can meet.


There’s no question or doubt but that Guinness’s stout
     Will go up to sixpence a glass;
Then you’ll learn sure as fate when the bhoys rule the state
     They’re after your wee bit o’ brass.
They’re as loyal as snakes and as good as earthquakes—
     Disaster to Ireland they’ll bring.
They’d soon put you in jail. yes, without fine or bail,
     If you chorused “God save the King.”

The “News-Letter” will go, “Telegraph” and “Echo,”
     The “Whig” will be printed in green;
Then their soft “Irish News” Bonar Law can abuse,
     With a dash of “Thank Gawd” in between.
The spondulicks of Baird and Sir James will be shared
     To pay off their national debt,
And what’s left after that by the crown in my hat
     Will stand Willie Redmond a wet.


Arrah! William O’Brien, unless rumour is lyin’,
     Breeches maker to King John he’ll be.
With a star and a stripe of the best Yankee type,
     And dollars embossed on the knee.
Thus this patriot from Cork will join hands with New York
     And Paddy Ford over the foam,
Making John E. a mash with the servant girl’s cash,
     When starting the “Ould House at Home.”


Marriage laws they’ll relax and all batchelors tax,
     By some means they must raise the pelf,
And a new postage stamp, with John E. the scamp!
     Set up with the crown on himself.
Just a halo then add, a Shilledagh bedad,
     A dhudeen in his Irish caubeen,
And arrah! be japers, ye can tell the neighbours,
     That’s the boss of our Isle so green.


The Champion prefaced this poem with the following:


We presume that the poem to which we are requested to “give a run Threw” is not that on the loss of the Titanic but that on “Ulster Under Home Rule.” We have given the poem a “run threw” and have enjoyed it. Here are a few of the verses:—

And ended with:

This piece of literature is marked “Copyright: All Rights Reserved,” but we hope we shall escape punishment for giving our readers a sample of its beauties.

The introduction suggests that it was sent to the Champion either as a broadsheet or a cutting from another newspaper and that a poem on the Titanic disaster was included with it. The Champion uses it as a example of what it regards as the groundless fears stoked by the anti-Home Rule campaign. See article from the newspaper (right).

The poem has many references to members of the Irish Parliamentary Party. Mister West Belfast Joe was Joe Devlin MP for West Belfast and John E. was the leader of the Irish Parliamentary Pary, John Redmond.

It also refers to some Belfast businesses and newspapers. Workman, Clark & Co. was a shipbuilders in Belfast and Dunville & Co was a company that blended pure pot still whiskey as well as imported tea. W & G Baird were printers who printed the Belfast Telegraph newspaper.

"Paddy Ford" is Patrick Ford (1837-1913), an Irish-American journalist and supporter of Irish nationalism. He was born in Galway and emigrated with his parents to Boston, USA in 1845. During the American Civil War he served in the Union army with his father and brother. He settled in New York in 1870 and founded the Irish World, which became the principal newspaper of Irish America.

It was expected that a new Home Rule Irish Parliament would sit in the old Parliament house in College Green.

The Sligo Champion regularly ridiculed Protestant fears of their possible fate under Home Rule stressing the prosperity enjoyed by the non-Catholic businessmen of Sligo. It combined this with frequent allegations that many of the Sligo non-Catholic businessmen gave preference to non-Catholics as employees and sometimes "imported" non-Catholic staff from elsewhere.

Back to content | Back to main menu