Wicklow Boy

As I walked past Portlaoise Prison
“I’m innocent”, a voice was heard to say
“My frame-up is almost completed.
My people all look the other way.”

Seven years ago his torture started
A forced confession he was made to sign.
Young Irish men specially trained and chosen
Were on the heavy gang that made him run the line.

Others in the Bridewell heard him screaming
Even prison doctors could see
His injuries were not self-inflicted
Those who tipped the scales did not agree.


Give the Wicklow Boy his freedom
Give him back his liberty
Ore are we going to leave him in chains
While those who framed him up hold the key?

Deprived of human rights by his own people
Sickened by injustice he jumped bail,
In the Appalachian Mountains found a welcome
Till his co-accused were both released from jail.

He came back expecting to get justice
Special Branch took him from the plane
For five years we’ve deprived him of his freedom
The guilty jeer the innocent again.


The people versus Kelly was the title
Of the farce we staged at his appeal.
Puppets in well rehearsed collusion,
I often wonder how these men must feel.

As I walked past Portlaoise Prison
Through concrete and steel a whisper came
“My frame-up is almost completed.
I’m innocent, Nicky Kelly is my name.”