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poet

Pádraig Ó Tuama

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Pádraig Ó Tuama

Pádraig Ó Tuama received a BA (Div) from Maryvale Institute, Birmingham, and an MTh from Queens University Belfast. He is the author of the poetry collections Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community (2017), Sorry for Your Troubles (2013) and Readings from the Books of Exile (2012), all published by Canterbury Press in the United Kingdom. He is also the author of In the Shelter: Finding a Home in the World (Hodder & Stoughton, 2015), a book of spiritual reflection.

From 2014-2019, Ó Tuama was the leader of the Corrymeela Community, Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation organization, which works with over 10,000 people a year to transform division through human encounters, with focuses on sectarianism, marginalization, public theology and the legacies of conflict. Ó Tuama lives in Ireland.

by this poet

poem

I

When I was a child,
I learnt to lie.

When I was a child
my parents said that sometimes,
lives are protected
by an undetected
light lie of
deception

When I was a child,
I learnt to lie.

Now, I am more than twenty five
and I’m alive
because I’ve

poem

‘You’re too young
to know about The Troubles,’
the peaceman said.

And the youngman said:

f a t h e r s h o t d e a d
m o t h e r f e l l a p a r t
b r o t h e r f e l l i n t o h i m s e l f
o t h e r b r o t h e r s e n t t o l i v e w i t h o t h e r s
a n d m e i s m o t

poem

27ú lá Meitheamh, 2012

Because what’s the alternative?
Because of courage.
Because of loved ones lost.
Because no more.
Because it’s a small thing; shaking hands; it happens every day.
Because I heard of one man whose hands