Today Is Poetry Day Ireland 2021.

To celebrate Poetry Day Ireland 2021, here on I am delighted to share a beautiful poem, specially written for today by one of my favourite poets and a local author, Mr Tom Ryan, “Iona”, Rahealty, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

In keeping with Poetry Day Ireland’s 2021 theme ‘New Directions: Maps and Journeys’, Tom’s poem ‘Save the Double Ditch’, describes the immeasurable sentimental and historic value of a local walkway that generations have journeyed along since it was mapped out during the Great Famine in 1846.

The title and final lines of this poem capture the essence of the threat currently facing the ‘Double Ditch’ in Thurles and our fervent hope that it’s fate will take a ‘New Direction’ (click HERE for more information about the history, hardship and threats faced by the Double Ditch Great Famine Mass Path).

Entrance to the 1846 ‘Double Ditch’, Manor Mill Road, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Save the Double Ditch
Courtesy of Thurles Author & Poet Tom Ryan ©

Who now remembers the hallowed Double Ditch walk.
That sacred path for Mass goers and lovers long ago,
By our Great Famine folks created.
From Manor Mill Road to Church and school in Thurles town.
Where heritage and history court renown.
In the sweet romance of yesterday, I held my lovely lady’s hand,
As though she were the Royal Lady Thurles, now sleeping in St. Mary’s.
Oh, the innocence and ignorance of those times
Swearing love, devotion, adoration.
Our hearts light, hopeful and glad,
Mad-happy as the summer day was long
Never to end.

The birdsong enchanting all around,
This sacred ground, this sacred youth and yearning.
Wishing our joy unending,
Our longings and love ascending,
To the summer blue sky above,
With the birds that sweetly sang in the fragrant summer
We strolled through the centuries on the way,
Mocked the passing day,
Oblivious of past hunger and the heartbreak,
Whereby, in faith and togetherness,
This Double Ditch was born,
Defying death and desolation,
This place, this sacred place,
This pride of our proud nation.
Speak softly of this precious place,
That harbours all the jewels of a bejewelled race.
Speak kindly of the memories of a time,
When the eternal, ethereal spirit of this place was mine,
And if perchance some ill your ways destroy,
Then so shall end all gallantry and all our history die.


Other ways to Get Involved with Poetry Day Ireland 2021.

We are sincerely grateful to Mr Tom Ryan for sharing his poem with us for Poetry Day Ireland 2021. Here are some of the many other ways you can get involved this year.


By clicking HERE you can search through the many virtual events taking place across the country. The events include workshops, performances and radio shows.


You can enter a poetry writing competition. Why not give it a try by clicking HERE.

Pocket Poems.

Poetry Ireland have compiled a collection of pocket poems under this year’s theme ‘New Directions: Maps and Journeys’. By clicking HERE you can read, enjoy and share these poems.

Educational Resources.

Celebrate poetry in schools with the help of these outstanding educational resources that provide lots of ideas for teachers today and throughout the year.


Sit back and enjoy Poetry Ireland’s video collection from well known Irish people reading their favourite poems.

Contributions come from the world of politics, music and film and include readings by Imelda May, Mary Robinson and Paul Mescal. View HERE


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