Ireland has been involved in peacekeeping missions since the 1950s in dozens of countries on behalf of the United Nations, since it joined in 1955. In a context where the study of war poets is well established, peacekeeping poets are rare.

Poet Michael J. Whelan is a former member of the Irish Defence Forces and has seen service in South Lebanon and Kosovo as an Irish United Nations support operative. His poetry serves as a valuable and even historically-significant document of the Irish soldier’s experience in peacekeeping work. Whelan makes it clear that he and his fellow soldiers are in as much as danger as those they either sent in to protect or fight. The human cost is never far away.

Source: Doire Press

Date: 2016

Courtesy of Michael J. Whelan

Produced by: Just Forests

Format: rescued wood sample

Year: 1987

Courtesy of Tom Roche