This coming week marks the 40th Anniversary of tragic events surrounding the Battle of At Tiri in April 1980. This poem Remembers all Irish Peacekeepers who died in Lebanon.

Irish Martyrs in Lebanon – poem




From the Peacekeeper collection by Michael J. Whelan: Doire Press, 2016)
Artwork: Lisa Murray

Photo: Michael J. Whelan




They cannot keep the peace

or fight this war with bullets,

only stout hearts and skill

will save us –




So they light the torches,

those we send to fight this fight,

they show the way and enter the trenches

to form the fighting line,

the battle is drawn

and we who wait

see their losses

but we know their resolve.


So they go

with all the hopes we can muster at their backs,

reinforcing their shoulders.


We watch them,

they are meeting the invisible enemy,

they will be victorious!


We will keep a place for them at the kitchen table

and we contemplate the costs

to them, to us, for this country,

our families and our people.


We are all in this together,

we will live again,

we are free!


It is time now.


©Michael J. Whelan



I read the poem in the clip below,

which is for all those involved in the struggle/battle against the Corona Virus Covid-19, especially the doctors, nurses,medical workers, emergency staff, fire fighters, soldiers, sailors, airmen and women, shop workers, delivery drivers, Gardai (police), hospital staff,  front-line and essential workers everywhere, politicians, journalists and the ordinary people doing there bit in Ireland and around the world.




Now that we have time,

pay attention to the language of trees,

we have the Spring

and soon they will bring us

their beauty’


– Michael J. Whelan

Trees: Michael J. Whelan


Hi everyone,

Come along and see “The Seven Ages – Like it or Not” by We Honest Troubadours. Devised by: Berni Dwan. Directed by: Alan O’Brien + Berni Dwan. Written + Performed by: Berni Dwan, Jimmy O’Connell + Michael J Whelan. Narration + Singing by: Alan O’Brien.

Scene and Heard Festival

Jacques’ speech, The Seven Ages of Man in Shakespeare’s As You Like It describes the journey from birth to death. We signpost it with new poetry and old song.

Take the journey with us on Saturday February 22nd at 9.30 pm in Smock Alley Theatre.

Running Time : 60 mins.

Book tickets here smockalley.ticketsolve.com/shows/873612092


Seven Ages - Like It or Not


Art by Michael J. Whelan

Art by Michael J. Whelan



My poem ‘Sparrows Sing’ is this week’s podcast on Words Lightly Spoken, and is a tribute to the poet #FrancisLedwidge in #Gallipoli. It was recorded by Claire Cunningham a few months ago.

Michael J Whelan reads his poem Sparrows Sing in this episode of Words Lightly Spoken, a podcast of poetry from Ireland. The poem is a tribute to the Irish poet Francis Ledwidge, who died in World War 1, and is from Michael’s collection Rules of Engagement, published by Doire Press.

See links below where it can be heard. Please encourage all your friends to listen/download to boost the download figures.

The links are:

Apple Podcasts:




Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Words-Lightly-Spoken-754598431575512/

Twitter @LightlyWords

Poetry Ireland website https://www.poetryireland.ie/…/words-lightly-spoken-a-new-p…


After the Great War

After the Great War (c)Michael J. Whelan

After the Great War

Do not ask what all the sacrifice was for
or ponder on its worth,
the future should fear no vengeance
from the past
for in the years of remembrance
a hundred years hence,
when the last veteran has finally passed,
we shall be at war again.

– from ‘Rules of Engagement’, the second collection of poetry by Michael J. Whelan (Doire Press, 2019). see https://www.doirepress.com/writers/m_z/michael_whelan/


For anyone who missed the launch of my collection and anyone who loves or is interested in poetry please come along next Wednesday evening 23rd October to the Vintage Rooms in the Workman’s Club in Temple-bar in Dublin City, where I will be reading from ‘Rules of Engagement.’ Poets Simon Lewis, Emily E. Cullen will also read from their new collections.

Please come along to experience and celebrate poetry. Royalties from my book Rules of Engagement are going to Irish Defence Forces veteran’s charities – the Irish United Nations Veterans Association & The Organisation of National Ex-Service Personnel.


Venue: The Vintage Rooms, Workman’s Club, 10 Wellington Quay, Temple-Bar, Dublin City.

Time: Wednesday 23rd October 6.30pm

Admission: Free

All welcome

Please share


Rules of Engagement by Michael J. Whelan, published by Doire Press, 2019 (Cover Design by Triona Walsh)