Post-primary Level Commended

James Connolly's Shirt

The stains we wear 

Are the scars we bear                                                                                                                                                                            

What once was white now crimson red 

From the tears that once were shed

A fight for justice

The lives it cost us

Murdered in cold blood

It came as a flood

As the guns fired and the heroes emerged,

So too came the enemy in a surge


Defiant in defeat

They made their captors seethe

Imprisoned in the cells of Kilmainham

Imminent death was to greet them,

Heads held high and with straight stiffed backs

Behind them stood a wall of blood splattered sacks

The sound of the gunshot was to be the sound of freedom

The killing of the heroes was to spark newfound wisdom


It was to free a nation and a free republic was to be born

It was to heal the wounds and to mend the torn


The stains we wear

Have hidden stories to share



Object No. 91 James Connolly's shirt, 1916
National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts and History

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