Oh, Caitlín Ní Uallacháin, your sons have been martyred,
their lives cruelly taken or cynically bartered.
Your tears fill the Foyle, the
Boyne and the Barrow
with stories that chill righteous minds to the marrow.
The country’s awash with the cries of your daughters
for Collins and Connolly, Wolfe Tone and Waters.
In the year that we’re feting the struggles of Larkin,
John Waters fell foul of the laws about parkin’.
Our hero was randomly handed a ticket
and forthwith decided it just wasn’t cricket.
And so at the very next magistrate’s session,
he took a brave stance ‘gainst this savage repression.
From the dock, this unflinchable journalist fashioned
a speech from the heart, both inflamed and impassioned.
“I won’t doff the cap to this fiendish knavery,”
he cried, as the multitudes gasped at his bravery.
“I must take a stand on behalf of the weary,
the sat-upon, shat-upon folk of
“Then you leave me no option,” the judge spat out viciously.
“We cannot have citizens acting seditiously.
Your words are insidious, base and subliminal
and we have no choice but to brand you a criminal.
Your words are pernicious; you’ve shown no repentance
and now you are facing a long prison sentence.”
And so, John was brought under Garda protection
to a gloomy, voluminous house of correction
and thrown in a cell, there to ponder and languish,
a soul in dark torment, alone and in anguish.
“Oh Father,” he cried, “See where this stand has taken me!
In my hour of need, why hast thou forsaken me?”
A felon on his right hand, a felon on his left,
he descended to Hell, alone and bereft.
But courage and strength may be found when you need ‘em,
as when you are cruelly deprived of your freedom.
And just as his thoughts were enveloped by gloom,
the boulder was suddenly rolled from his tomb.
Weakly, the bars of authority yielded
as our hero emerged into sunlight, eyes shielded,
his spirit unbroken, unquenched and undaunted,
his face deeply lined with the look of the haunted.
Three cent in his pocket, kept safe from the beadle,
he could easily slip through the eye of a needle.
But suddenly, families started appearing,
unfurling their banners and raucously cheering
and they lined all the streets on the south of the city
for the man who had faced down the Parking Committee.
, bow down
to the man who has taught us Ireland
to fight for our freedom! God bless you, John Waters.