Ireland’s ‘I’s

– Billy Craven

I is for ILAC

Smiling I recall, the big day out, the feet worn out, the spree coming to an end,

Last stop, the ilac centre, the last punts and pennies spent.

– Therese Kieran
– Theresa Donnelly
– Robin McNamara

I is for Inchicore home of St Pat’s,

Soccer supremos, red and white scarves and hats.

– Richie Keane

I for Inis Mac Neasáin, the isle of Ireland’s Eye,

Inky, without inhabitants, an idyll of sea and sky.

– Catherine Ann Cullen

I’s for Inis Mac Neasín – Ireland’s Eye of County Dublin’s coast,

sail there in the blink of an eye from the historic harbour at Howth.

– Mary B Shannon

I is for Inner City.

Abandoned buildings. Architectural splendour. In decay.

Inner city. Deeply despondent. In dismay.

– Stephen J Bolger

I is for all the inns, currently shut,

the long halls, the lounges, the bars and the snugs.

The glasses unpolished, the brass getting yellow.

We must drown our sorrows with nowt to swallow.

– Nessa O’Mahony

– Damien Donnelly, poem and two photos above

I is for the Irish Independent since January nineteen and five, Home once more to New Irish Writing which helps new writers and poets survive.

– Mary B Shannon

I is for the Irish Times broadsheet first published in eighteen fifty nine

Its iconic illuminated clock and irreverent Cruiskeen Lawn

– Mary B Shannon
– photo by Arjuna Cecchetti

“I” is for Island and Islands are Books

A Book is a Bookshop

A Bookshop is a Town

Which Town I guess? Dublin Town.

Dublin is a spaceship for maniacs of rain, the rain is for reading, reading is for books and books are Islands.

I wish for an Irish Island.

– Arjuna Cecchetti

– Maura McDonnell


When you were Sarah’s bridge, you were named to honour Aristocracy

You took the name of the island surrounds when Ireland claimed its own Democracy

– Maura McDonnell

– Lisa Perkins

I for the Iveagh Gardens where ivies intertwine,

Inviting isolation, ideal, rain or shine.

– Catherine Ann Cullen

I is for Iveagh House

Home to the Department of Foreign Affairs

Locus of risers and fallers on the palatial staircase.

– Marie Studer


Catherine Ann Cullen is the inaugural Poet in Residence at Poetry Ireland since September 2019. She was awarded a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in December 2018. She has an M.Phil in Creative Writing from the Oscar Wilde School at Trinity College Dublin and a Creative Writing PhD from Middlesex University. Catherine Ann has published three poetry collections: The Other Now (New and Selected Poems) with Dedalus Press in October 2016; A Bone in My Throat (2007) and Strange Familiar (2013) with Doghouse Books. She is the author of three books for children, The Magical, Mystical, Marvelous Coat (Little, Brown 2001) and Thirsty Baby (Little, Brown 2003) and All Better! Poems about illness and recovery (Little Island 2019). She is also a scholar of broadside ballads.

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