Day 17 of the Everyday Inspiration course by Blogging University requires that I use ‘A Map as my Muse’, so I’ve chosen to repost, here a poem I wrote about a fire that occurred in the district where I live in The Liberties, Dublin. The Whiskey Fire occurred when a fire in a bonded warehouse caused an explosion which ignited another building, next door and that was full of bonded barrels of whiskey. The blazing whiskey flowed through the streets and efforts to put in out were to no avail until James Robert Ingram, the chief fire officer, came up with an ingenious solution to halt the flow of flaming whiskey.

I call the poem, Organic because, first, the idea came to me while I was shopping in an organic market next door to a new whiskey distillery. The second reason will become obvious when you read the poem.


I buy my fruit and veg,
fertilised and organic
on a square in The Liberties
where whiskey once flowed,
through streets
where people
took to their bare feet
to fill their boots
and drink
the scalding spirit
Pigs, squealed and fried
and chickens roasted,
people died, toasted
not by fire
but by flaming spirit
and those who fought
to douse the fire with water
only fanned the flames
Until James Robert Ingram
Chief Officer
of the Dublin Fire Brigade
said the only way
to win this fight
was to smother it
with shite

4 thoughts on “Whiskey Fire in The Liberties

    • Ingram was born and raised in Dublin, emigrated to the US, where he became a founding member of what is now known as New York Fire Department. He was invited back to Ireland to set up the Dublin Fire Brigade. His methods were often unorthodox but always effective. A blazing ship in Dublin bay was drifting up the river and threatening to be a major fire hazard. Ingram’s solution? He aimed a cannon at it and blew it up. Job done.

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