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Decade of Centenaries


2021 Decade of Centenaries Clare Programme

Clare County Council: Decade of Centenaries Arts Project Award 2021

‘I Fought the War’ : Revoicing Clare Women in the Revolutionary Period 1919-1921

© Tim Collins 2021

I fought the War
The night they brought the dying rebel to our door
We brought him in and laid him on my bed, his life’s blood dripping on the grey, flag floor
I cleaned his wounds, I held his hand, I prayed for him and stayed with him until,
As dawn broke, he breathed no more.
I fought the War

I fought the War
That time the tans attacked before the dawn
And dragged us from our beds, shouting, terrorising, bayonets drawn
In search of volunteers who won the day
At Rineen, Clouna and Monreel, where the mighty Empire, bloodedly did pay
I fought the War

I fought the War
at a neighbour’s house dance
The night the armoured cars arrived,
with tans, threatening to kill everyone alive
‘ Where is that rebel on the run’ ?
‘ Reveal him now or face Britannia’s gun’
‘ You’ll not find any rebel here’ I cried, staring brazingly as I lied
And when they’d gone, we took him from the hay,
Our brave young Irish volunteer, safe to face another day
I fought the War

I fought the War
and paid the price
Seen walking with my English soldier boy, not once, but twice
And at a kangaroo court, hastily convened,
My crime against the Republic was revealed
A crime, punishable by death,
but knowing my family, leniency was granted, they sheared my head
My flowing locks, my golden mane
The inhumanity, the guilt, the shame,
I fought the War.

I fought the War
In a local pub, where strangers gathered late at night
And scribbled notes on ruffled paper, under candle light
And stitching them inside my dress,
through Ennistymon I hastily progressed,
Past Black and Tans with glaring eyes, and rifles pointed
Knowing if I’m caught, a traitor to the Crown, no mercy will be granted
I fought the War


Back to History Week 2021 Programme

Decade of Centenaries

Clare Decade of Centenaries Programme 2021

Clare Decade of Centenaries Programme 2020

Clare Decade of Centenaries Programme 2019

The Decade of Centenaries commemorates an eventful decade in Ireland’s history which included the Home Rule campaign, World War One, the 1916 Rising through to the foundation of the Free State, the War of Independence and the Civil War. It was also a decade of social change which witnessed the suffrage movement and the 1913 Lockout. The Decade of Centenaries programme aims to commemorate these events in a tolerant, inclusive and respectful way.

Local Authorities oversee the Community Strand of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media's Commemorative Programme. Funding is provided annually to each Local Authority and a programme of commemorations is submitted to the Commemorations Unit of the Department for approval. The Community Strand encourages a collaborative approach between the State, local authority network and community organisations.

A Decade of Centenaries Project Awards Scheme is advertised by Clare Councy Council annually inviting applications from community, historical and commemorative groups to commemorate events which happened in Clare during this period.

The terms of the scheme are based on the guidance of the Commemorations Unit of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and follow the principles laid down by the Expert Advisory Group on Centenary Commemorations. The Commemorations Unit recognise ‘that local cultural organisations, archives, museums and libraries act in positions of ‘cultural brokers’ and have formed meaningful relationships with local communities.’

Details of national Decade of Centenaries events can be found at

Supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Community Strand of the Decade of Centenaries programme.


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