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“This poem concerns the theft of the Irish Crown Jewels in 1907, and the underground coterie of homosexuals resident in Dublin Castle at the time that were subsequently exposed by a Scotland Yard investigation into the jewel theft. The poem (flirting with a dramatic monologue, and echoing a poem of Sinéad Morrissey’s) takes the form of a final letter from Arthur Vicars (the Ulster King of Arms) to Francis Shackleton. Acknowledging this centenary is a complicated procedure for queer folk, and despite our being habitants in an unrecognisably different time to Vicars and Shackleton, I hope this poem gestures to the gratitude for where we stand, as much as to the constant push for a rounder and more encompassing Ireland, and ultimately serves as a reminder of how historic queer Irish people lived in extremity, and in some cases still do.” - Mícheál McCann
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