Poems and Songs



This song was composed and written by a New Zealander, Brent Parker, immediately after the Dublin and Monaghan bombings. It was recorded by soprano, Angela Feeney with the RTE Concert Orchestra. However, to the best of our knowledge, it has never been played on RTE Radio.


All day have I waited here, now I must go home
What will await me there, now that he has gone

Sunshine fading through pale leaves I see
Shining gold though cold to feel
Shadows formed by railings as I pass
Form strange shapes that pay me no heed
Feelings that I cannot suppress
Press in with growing night.

Sad am I
What must I do? Should I make haste?
Should I delay?

Each day is now the same, since he comes back no more
Children are home from school, laughter no longer gay

Just a short time ago, he lived, he breathed,
Passed this same place, next instant he was gone

Sunshine fading through pale leaves I see
Shining gold though cold to feel
Shadows formed by railings as I pass
Form strange shapes that pay me no heed
Feelings that I cannot suppress
Press in with growing night.

Sad am I
What must I do? Should I make haste?
Should I delay?

Will I be 'ere the same, sorrow so hard to bear
'Tis that I have no choice, now that I am alone

He never will be back
No more his child to see
No more will I see him
No more will he see me.

Baby Doherty

This poem was written by Paula Meehan for full-term unborn Baby Doherty for the commemorative concert performed by Black Box Theatre Company to mark the 30th anniversary of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings and to celebrate the lives of the victims, held in Liberty Hall on 10 May 2004.


And it was never known if I was boy or girl
Never placed on the public record.

I wasn't even a statistic.
I wasn't counted in the cold numbers of the dead.

Until 2003 when I was granted personhood,
Voiced by the Coroner as the 27th victim of the Dublin Bombings.

Article 40 of the Constitution of this Republic
Admits me to history, commits me to your consideration.

I was closer to my mother Collette
Than the cloud on the mountain.

I was her Mayblossom
In the park.

I moved in her and through her
Into your history books.

Her last dream was my last dream.
She dreamt of Halloween,

Of orchards of fruit
Ripe and ready to fall.

To the Victims Of The Bombs In
Monaghan & Dublin

This poem was written on the day following the bombings by the curate of Casalattico, Frozinone, Italy. Casalattico was the home village of Antonio Magliocco, killed by the Parnell Street bomb.


Hold out your hands
We think of our friendly Ireland
Dismay and horror
For the victims in Monaghan and Dublin
Italian blood does not ask for revenge
On those who did the attack
And cowardly hid
From graves full of tears
A voice is rising:
"No more hatred
No massacres, no sorrow
No more blood to cover
The green soil of Ireland
No more weapons, mourning, useless ruins
Hold out your hands
Love has no borders
Do not wait any more
Set to work
This is all the world wants:
May the sun of peace
Shine on the anguish of Ireland"

Stay Strong

This poem was written by Fiona Ryan, in loving memory of her mother, Maureen Shields, a native of Co. Tipperary, killed by the Talbot Street bomb. Fiona was only 11 years old when she lost her mother.


Friday the 17th of May
Began like any other day,
We ate the cereal and the toast,
Ran to the door and checked the post,
Who could have said who could have foretold,
The terrible tragedy that was about to unfold.

I remember that morning
Mammy brushed my hair,
Planted a kiss on my cheek
And said 'don't forget your prayer'
I chased out the door as happy as a bee
Not a thing in my secure world troubling me

Around 5.30 that evening we heard the blast
Not knowing my secure world was a thing of the past
Daddy rang to say 'Tell Mammy I'm fine
I'm going to be late, I'll be home before nine'
The traffic was crazy, the place in a state,
That's why we thought Mammy's so late.

By some strange twist of fate, Mammy decided that day
To go into town to collect Daddy on her way,
But her good deed was costly,
Her timing all wrong,
Her life was taken,
God it's hard to be strong.

Child of Our Time

This poem was written by Eavan Boland 'to commemorate a baby killed in the Dublin bombing'. In fact, two baby sisters, Jacqueline and Anne Marie O'Brien were killed as well as Baby Doherty.


Yesterday I knew no lullaby
But you have taught me overnight to order
This song, which takes from your final cry
Its tune, from your unreasoned end its reason;
Its rhythm from the discord of your murder,
Its motive from the fact you cannot listen.

We who should have known how to instruct
With rhymes for your waking, rhythms for your sleep
Names for the animals you took to bed,
Tales to distract, legends to protect,
Later an idiom for you to keep
And living, learn, must learn from you, dead.

To make our broken images rebuild
Themselves around your limbs, your broken
Image, find for your sake whose life our idle
Talk has cost, a new language. Child
Of our time, our times have robbed your cradle.
Sleep in a world your final sleep has woken.

A Nations Truth

This poem was written by Noel Hegarty, a survivor of the Dublin 1974 bombings. It was read out by Noel on the 40th anniversary of the bombings in 2014 at the commemorations events in both Dublin and Monaghan.


May 1974, smoke rises with the morning sun
From the East comes a cloud and Death’s horrible hum,

From the Hills, Valleys and Mountains they come,
Proud parents should never have to bury their young,

The women of Ireland rife with sorrow,
For 34 victims there is no tomorrow,

Why did they target those everyday folk?
The salt of the earth full of dreams and hope,

A faceless enemy that was hidden among us,
Robbed of our dignity there’s been no justice,

Those who survived left in constant pain,
With terrible nightmares and the faint echoes of blame,

Our neighbours never heard our children’s cries,
Blocked out by an Empire with hate in its eyes,

Talk of Collusion hangs heavy in the air,
Like a poisonous gas drifting here and there,

The worst atrocity in the history of this State,
If only they had known their horrific fate,

Let us listen to the pleas of the victims here before us
They seek justice,

              Justice for their friends,
                            Justice for their families
                                          Justice for the Forgotten.

A Poem For Peace, A Poem for Truth and Justice, A Poem of Hope and Reconciliation

This poem was composed by the young participants in the Monaghan Bombing Links Project. It was read out at the 40th anniversary commemoration in Monaghan by Joseph Kelly. The poem reflects their newfound knowledge and their yearning for truth and justice for the victims' families and survivors of the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings.


1974, Friday the 17th of May,
Nobody knew what would happen that day,
Dublin and Monaghan would never be the same again,
Four bombs, 34 dead, over 300 injured.

Loud bangs, panic, fear, worry and tears,
Physical and emotional scars for 40 long years.
The loss of innocence we can never replace,
The horrific memories we can never erase.

Forgotten, isolated, ignored and abandoned since 74,
Peace, justice and truth will prevail once more.
Many people forgot what happened 40 years ago,
But we will always remember and never let you go.

40 years on in 2014,
And still proper justice has not been seen,
We will campaign for truth and justice together,
We wont give up we will fight forever.


Run Ma, Run

This poem was composed by Rachael Hegarty. Along with her mother and younger brother, she was on North Earl Street when the Talbot Street bomb exploded. The poem has been published in her debut collection of poetry, Flight Paths Over Finglas (Salmon Press).


Rachael Hegarty

Song - Where were you?

Emer Fox was inspired to write the song when she read a very distressing newspaper article which focused on the families of the victims and how they had been trying to cope with their loss in the intervening years.


Where were you (mp3)

It was an ordinary day that Friday.
People on a city street making plans just like you and me.
A sound then hit the air with no warning.
And the life they knew now over and they cry.

Where were you?
Where were you on that day?
Where were you on that Friday the day they died?
Where were you?
Where were you on that day?
Where were you on that Friday the day they died?

A mother standing on her own, she’s incomplete
A daughter never coming home, nothing left of her life.
No heart beat.
And cries that fill the air with no easing.
And no chance to say goodbye and she cries.


A father starts the day alone, a long journey.
A son he knows will never phone.
Nothing said of a heart still yearning.
A time that moves away a long distance.
But it lives there in his mind and he cries.


Where were you on that Friday the day they died?

Words and music by Emer Fox
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Song - Justice For The Forgotten

This song was composed by Ciaran Warfield and he performed it on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings commemoration events in Monaghan in 2014.


Justice for the Forgotten (mp3) by Ciaran Warfield


Ciaran Warfield