John Maguire, The Hero From Cong

By Patrick Tunney

On February 19, 1923, John McGuire, was charged and found guilty at Galway Jail with possession of a rifle and ammunition at Cluid, Headford without proper authority and was sentenced to death.

Peaceful, celestial and calm in his sleep,
In the realms of virtue and song,
As a martyr he fell, Ah, then why should we weep,
For Maguire, the hero from Cong.
When the slogan resounded he answered the call,
That freedom our land may regain,
He strove to uplift her from serfdom and thrall,
When he fought ‘neath the flag of Sinn Féin.
No nation e’er rendered a soldier more brave,
He knew not the shadow of gloom,
He dreaded not pitch-cap or scaffold or grave,
But surrendered his life in its bloom.
When the Tans were assailed on the shores of Lough Mask,
By Irishmen, all valiant and true,
Maguire was there to accomplish a task,
In defence of his loved Róisín Dhu.
He cherished the dreams of the free to the last,
Of labours did freely partake,
He said “All the lives of our hero’s not lost,
When given for Liberty’s sake.”
He gave his young life for the land of his love,
For her sake he has chosen the grave,
May his soul rest in peace in realms above,
While his name’s on the Roll of the Brave.
Adown through the ages that name we’ll revere,
May it light coming heroes along,
A lisp, a short prayer with a feeling sincere,
For Maguire, the hero from Cong.