One faith under two flags fought in Galway
The Gloucester’s guns roared as shells rained from Athenry to Castlegar
The Men of Claddagh, as per their rings, came out for the Crown
The rebels fought on, the smoke and sound spread far.
Silent the clergy, bar a few most sided with the state
The surrender in Dublin came – the dream was at an end
The battle lost, the war not yet won, and Mellews then thought it but half
To be killed by a new enemy who once was his freind.
Kenny tried to get for the Spailpin what was needed to survive
But Mellews kept the battle for freedom of state alone
The secret society done its best, betrayed by the bourgoise
After five days all could see the cause was lost – the British had won.
Thousands of hunger in the hills were yet to starve
Abandoned by the Free State, that dragged its heels, and the famine did deny
Rising betrayed by folk and governement who knew but pride and greed for the pound
Cared not for the lives that were lost for the flag the claimed to fly.
HMS Gloucester shelled the countryside from Castlegar to Oranmore during the rising.
Men of Claddagh – a special constabulary to back up the RIC and the British Army was recruited in the Claddagh and in Galway City. The Claddagh area had a massive membership in the Britihs Army in WWI.
MellewsLiam Mellews, who led the rebellion in Galway, in 1922 was executed by the Free State (the “new enemy”). He wanted a full 32 county republic, (thinking the war but half won) not a 26 county state, under the king. His former comrades killed him when the British did not when they had the chance less than a decade before. Ironically the army Barracks in Renmore is named after him, by the army that shot him!
Thousands of hunger… In 1925 there was a famine in poor areas of Ireland, it hit Connacht and Iar Connacht particularly bad, and decimated the Spailpin population who were still subsistence farmers, and still dependent on the potato. It was denied by the Government who dragged their heels. The Manchester Guardian reported on it, as did American media, and their was diplomatic pressure from foreign powers who cared more for the Irish than their own Free State government did. My verse “Forgotten Famine in a Free State” tells more.
KennyTom Kenny – leader of local secret society involved in land agitation, tried to get land reform and cattle seizures as part of the rising, but was thwarted by Mellews who kept the class war out of the Rising.