By Patrick Tunney
The Mayo News
Written by Patrick Tunney on Christmas Day, 1928 special to the “Mayo News” Westport, in perpetuation of the sacred memory of the late Josie Gill, The Quay, Westport, who in 1916 suffered much for the sake of slavery-bound Rosaleen;
when banished from Ireland he was a man amongst men. Pray for his Eternal reward. May he rest in Peace. Dedicated to his compatriots P. J. Doris, Edward Haran, Owen Hughes, Manus Keane, etc, by Patrick Tunney, Cushlough.
Grief’s clouds o’ershadow Westport Town; it dons its crepe to-day,
And sorrow looms ‘round every home by the waters of Clew Bay.
Amouring for an exiled son, who in death’s embrace lies, still;
A zealous son, a trusted one; true-hearted, Josie Gill.
In death’s embrace he calmly sleeps; being of a worthy clan,
A valiant hero; fearless, brave, a soldier and a man.
Whose love poured for his native land as constant as a rill,
Whose heart throbbed true for freedom’s light, undaunted, Josie Gill.
When Érin’s tocsin loudly rang, in glorious Sixteen,
‘Neath the battle-brand of freedom’s sun, the Orange, White and Green.
Then Mayo’s sons assembled on the slopes of Farnaught Hill,
And the first to answer Banba’s Call was the fearless, Josie Gill.
The Felon’s Crown was his reward in many dreary jails;
He, torture bore for Ireland’s sake in Frongoch Camp, North Wales.
He dreaded not oppression’s might, undaunted was his will,
Cruel British dungeons, held no fear for Josie Gill.
In fetters bound, poor Éire weeps for her exiled soldiers, brave,
For her banished sons and daughters fair, who were forced to cross the wave.
And She’s calling; ever calling, with the call clear and shrill,
“Irishmen, fill Ireland’s Ranks, with men like Josie Gill”
But, a sordid band holds Éire bound in subjugation, vile,
Britannia’s Rule still dominates throughout our sundered Isle.
Our Sacred Trust bemoans to-day for extermination’s thrill,
Deprives us of our trusted ones, of men like, Josie Gill.
Calm be your sleep, my comrade dear; God give you peace to-day,
May your soul find rest ‘mongst Ireland’s dead, this holy Christmas Day.
May your spirit lead misguided men; it was God’s Holy Will,
Consigned you to an exile’s grave, was true hearted, Josie Gill.