Anniversary of death of Charlie Donnelly, 27 February 1937

Post date: 26/02/2015

Charles Donnelly was a journalist, poet and Irish Republican, born in Dungannon, Co Tyrone, in 1914. In Dublin he was twice gaoled for his trade union activities, in 1934 and 1935, after which he moved to London, where he joined the Spanish Medical Aid Committee following the outbreak of the war in Spain. He arrived in Spain in January 1937 and soon after enlisting with the British Battalion transferred to the Abraham Lincoln Battalion along with most of the other volunteers from Ireland. He was killed on 27 February 1937 in the abortive attack against Pingarrón Hill during the Battle of Jarama.


The Tolerance of Crows

Charles Donnelly


Death comes in quantity from solved 

Problems on maps, well-ordered dispositions, 

Angles of elevation and direction; 


Comes innocent from tools children might 

Love, retaining under pillows, 

Innocently impales on any flesh.


And with flesh falls apart the mind

That trails thought from the mind that cuts 

Thought clearly for a waiting purpose. 


Progress of poison in the nerves and 

Discipline’s collapse is halted.

Body awaits the tolerance of crows.     


Pictured: Memorial to Charlie Donnelly unveiled in Rivas Vaciamadrid in 2010. 

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