Liberties

Dermott Hayes
Oct 22 · 3 min read
Painting hung in Little Flower Penny Dinners, Meath St, artist unknown (Hayes)

Liberties, land of possibilities
freedom, friendship
hand in hand
smiles and jokes
to beat the band
Live in a Liberty
live in community
slag each other
with impunity
defend ourselves
ferocious immunity

Liberties,
all embracing,
Lilliputians,
pagans, charlatans,
all shapes, all sizes,
faiths and disputations,
room here for all,
chased for creed,
seed or breed,
the other side
of the Castle Wall.

Hoey’s Court, birthplace of Jonathan Swift (Hayes)

Liberties,
home to Vikings,
Normans and Huguenots,
cattle dealers,
tanners, weavers
of the finest silks and linens
revolutionaries
writers, poets,
carters and carmen,
brewers and distillers.

Liberties,
land of possibilities,
a pub becomes a church
a womb heavy woman
condemned to death
by a scorned lover,
Darkey’s name’s
remembered today,
her so-called sins,
like her tormentor,
long forgotten.

The Adam and Eve Church, Merchants’ Quay (Hayes)

Liberties,
home of rebellion,
ill begotten,
200 men,
sticks and pikes,
resplendent Emmet,
Anne Devlin,
rebel daughter,
his loyal confidant,
hung and tortured,
survivor, never forgotten.

Anne Devlin mural, Carmen’s Hall (Hayes)
Emmet monument, St Catherine’s Church, Thomas St

Liberties,
the unsung heroes,
Michael Mallin,
soldier, silk weaver,
trade unionist, freedom fighter,
gave no quarter to his jailers,
rebel working man,
tainted a traitor,
a charge derided,
discredited.

Laneway, off Thomas St

Liberties,
home of Swift and Zozimus,
men of wit and letters,
Michael Smith,
acclaimed poet,
man of letters,
translator of Lorca,
neighbour to Bang Bang,
Stony Pockets,
Tenters’ resident.

Liberties,
home of song and tune
from PJ McCall,
two Tommies,
Reck and Potts,
piper and fiddle,
tunes aplenty,
Imelda May,
Biddy, Daffy,
prides of the Coombe.

Laneway to Thomas Court (Hayes)

Liberties,
legend,
Brendan Grace,
Eichlin St Graces,
funny, funny man,
a wicked eye,
Bottler from the heart,
no stone unturned,
no prisoners taken,
one of our own.

Brendan with Sinatra (Wiki Commons)

Liberties,
splendour in the gloom,
a region in decline,
again, in defiance,
it will again dispute,
with habitual repute,
opposing this compliance,
rise again, magnolious,
on a brewing tide
of distillery industrious.

Thomas St, The Liberties (Hayes)

Liberties,
home of a city,
the fork of two rivers,
black pool and the fords,
jewel of the Liffey,
pride of the Poddle,
Anna Livia Plurabelle,
The Liberties shines
rough and ready,
brightest of them all.


This a poem about where I live, The Liberties, an area at the heart of old Dublin, packed with history, heroes, heroines, blackguards and scoundrels.

Artistic Liberties asked me to take part in Humans of The Liberties (Friday, October 25) and read a poem. I’ll be reading Organic, a poem of mine about the Dublin Whiskey Fire of 1875 but I wrote the first stanza of this poem, too, at their request.

Then I couldn’t stop.

Lit Up

Welcome to Lit Up -The Land of Little Tales. Here you can read and submit short stories, flash fiction, poetry - in brief, your own legend. We're starting little. But that's how all big stories begin.

Dermott Hayes

Written by

Novellist, poet, blogger and ex-journalist. ‘If the cap fits.’ https://medium.com/@dermotthayes

Lit Up

Lit Up

Welcome to Lit Up -The Land of Little Tales. Here you can read and submit short stories, flash fiction, poetry - in brief, your own legend. We're starting little. But that's how all big stories begin.

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