Ireland “No” vote – your best Limerick?

So Ireland has rejected the EU’s Lisbon Treaty. EU Treaties aren’t normally the inspiration for flights of poetry, but can you write a killer Limerick to sum up the moment? Is this a deserved slap in the face for Eurocrats who just don’t listen? Or is it Ireland – which has enjoyed a massive economic boom since joining the EU – that’s just given Europe an undeserved kick in the teeth?

We don’t want to cramp your style, but keep it broadcastable, and here are a couple of lines to kick you off:

“An Irish chap in a booth…”

“They said they could never vote ‘No’…”

“A suited official from Brussels…”

Or, if you really like a challenge — try finding a rhyme for these:

“There was a young country called Ireland…”

“There once was an EU official…”

39 Responses to “Ireland “No” vote – your best Limerick?”

  1. June 13, 2008 at 21:10

    There was a small tavern called ‘Eire’,
    Bought out by the blokes OVER THERE.
    ‘No problem,’ said Reilly,
    ‘We’ll show em who’s wiley;
    ‘I’ve still got the doorkeeper’s spare.’

  2. 2 Dennis
    June 13, 2008 at 21:21

    I would love to write my own “limerick” but i don’t have the time.

    It is sad that they rejected it but…they figured out it has some problems with it.

    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  3. June 13, 2008 at 21:56

    Now that should have been ‘wily’, shouldn’t it? Who else was it couldn’t spell things? Shakspeare, was it? Couldn’t spell his own name?

    Dennis: If your limerick was rejected, write another one, but leave out all the words that actually belong in good limericks.

  4. 4 Franz
    June 13, 2008 at 22:12

    I’m an American living and working as an English and history teacher in Europe. Everyone likes to make fun of the American Constitution these days but you Europeans just don’t get what it takes to run a big poliitical/economic bloc (like the US), and the rule requiring unanimous approval for all laws in the EU is absurd and unworkable.

  5. 5 alicia
    June 13, 2008 at 22:48


    for all there luck an pots o gold

    there treasur’d four leaf clover

    when put to d test to measure it’s truth

    a simple vote was better!

    Dat is the power of democracy at work. Keep it up!

  6. 6 Mark
    June 14, 2008 at 02:52

    There once were some voters in Dublin
    Who found the EU very troublin’
    They don’t play the goat
    So they cast a no vote
    And now all of Europe’s a bubblin’

  7. June 14, 2008 at 03:34

    Oh we can’t really say ‘why’ or ‘when’
    We might trouble to do it again
    But it’s not too much bother
    One way or another
    To simply say ‘no’ now and then.

  8. 8 Roberto
    June 14, 2008 at 03:55

    There once was a island called Ireland.
    Soon it was quite the dire land.
    Then the time came to be,
    They declared yesiree,
    Our Ms. Lisbon needs a new darlin’.

  9. 9 steve b - uk
    June 14, 2008 at 07:51

    The President of Europe did roam
    and called every country his home
    then he tried to sing
    and become their king
    but he couldn’t, and had to go home

  10. 10 Bob in Queensland
    June 14, 2008 at 08:23

    In Lisbon they found a solution
    To replace their doomed constitution
    But the Irish said “no”,
    This too has to go
    Forget union, let’s have devolution!

  11. 11 steve b - uk
    June 14, 2008 at 09:23

    With apologies to my WHYS friends here is my second limerick ( I seem to be getting carried away this morning )

    The fair folk of Ireland have said
    ‘ We want to be locally led.
    ‘Tis fine to be free
    And have lots for tea
    But this treaty just makes us see red’.

  12. 12 Bob in Queensland
    June 14, 2008 at 09:42

    I’m feeling inspired so I’ll risk another…

    The Treaty of Lisbon it’s said
    Is the Eurocrats best way ahead
    But the Irish said wait
    Europe isn’t one state
    The gravy train’s better off dead!

  13. 13 Michael McClellan
    June 14, 2008 at 12:09

    Their once was a treaty that read
    Upon all your people we’ll tread
    So they said in one voice
    We’ll take our choice
    And leave that treaty for dead

  14. 14 Mark
    June 14, 2008 at 12:32

    There once were some people in Eire
    Who of the EU they did tire
    When Lisbon came up
    They most voted ‘nup”
    And now all of Europe’s on fire

  15. 15 Mark
    June 14, 2008 at 12:59

    In Brussels there is no debate
    They just want an Empire State
    But when Erin spoke
    It wasn’t a joke
    And now they will just have to wait

  16. 16 John in Germany
    June 14, 2008 at 15:05

    An Irish fiddler called Paddy, went to vote Yes with his caddy.
    It rained on the way, they both went a-stray.
    And said yes to a Guiness with the Caddies Daddy.

  17. 17 John in Germany
    June 14, 2008 at 15:15

    A young lady in Dublin called Molly,
    voted yes in the booth with her Brolly.
    The Paddy in charge said”That cross is to large” She then made a quick tick, with a tooth pick, the paddy went sick, so they pushed him away on a trolley.

    John in Germany.

  18. 18 John in Germany
    June 14, 2008 at 15:23

    There Was a young country called Ireland,
    that voted no! to the music of a callie band.
    The bosses abroad said”Thank the Lord”
    Now the matter wont get out of hand.

    John in Germany.

  19. 19 John in Germany
    June 14, 2008 at 15:42

    sorry just one more.

    There once was a EU official called Frank.
    who controlled the Irish vote with a tank.
    He was taken as a foe by those that said no,
    and that made him feel a real plank.

    John in Germany

  20. 20 selenayvonne
    June 14, 2008 at 16:55

    The Irish were predicted to dote
    On the UN, when they cast their vote
    But the Irish people did not act like sheeple
    To keep the UN afloat.

  21. 21 steve b - uk
    June 14, 2008 at 16:57

    John in Germany

    Yours are really awful, you know? Worse even than mine. Metres, alliteration and stuff.

    Good to laugh

  22. 22 Colleen
    June 14, 2008 at 17:38

    In Ireland it twas votin’ day.
    Erin heard what Lisbon would say.
    It smelled a bit rotten,
    to the polls she went trottin,
    to put ye ole Lisbon away.

  23. 23 Bryan
    June 14, 2008 at 19:39

    The arrogant beaurocrats from Brussels
    Thought they would flex their big muscles
    But the Irish said “no”
    When it came to the polls
    “We’re small but we’re tough in a tussle.”

  24. June 14, 2008 at 20:02

    There was an official from Brussels
    Who dined on sweet Molly’s live mussels
    ‘The result of your folly
    ‘shall be,’ said sweet Molly,
    ‘a pain in your rear-end corpuscles.’

    With apologies to Molly Malone in Dublin’s fair city.

  25. 25 Bryan
    June 14, 2008 at 21:25

    The Irish are known to be tough
    And not to be messed with too much
    So when Brussels took over
    And grabbed too much power
    They told them to go and get (censored).

  26. 26 Mark
    June 15, 2008 at 00:01

    The leader of Erin did try
    To laud the EU to the sky
    But gone was his hope
    When when the voters said nope,
    The whole EU’s naught but a lie

  27. 27 Dennis
    June 15, 2008 at 00:11

    @ DonovanRobert (and everyone else)

    This is from BBC HAVE YOUR SAY proxy:

    Question: How will Irish Lisbon Treaty No vote affect the EU?

    if i was living in ireland, i would also voted NO on this item..

    this is what was REJECTED….not the Limerick comments…

    I could not a limerick, if it was the only thing for a good job.

    Syracuse, New York

  28. 28 Dennis
    June 15, 2008 at 00:29

    @ Donovan Robert:

    i was not able to made my point more clearly: i could not write a limerick for my life…

    Syracuse, New York

  29. 29 Mark
    June 15, 2008 at 01:30

    Dennis, clearly you are not alone.

    There once was a poet, a Yank
    Whose poems the Irish said stank
    He sent BBC
    His best for no fee
    But the cotton pickin’limericks were so lousy they didn’t even bother to print them and only gave in finally in hopes of shutting the guy up which they couldn’t do because the more they printed the more he sent so they sent him a letter saying that if he didn’t stop sending them these crummy limericks they were just going to ingore everything he would ever send in again so he agreed that he should stop sending them in and to this day he has not sent another one of his awful poems to BBC or any other radio station. I rest my case 🙂

  30. 30 Bob in Queensland
    June 15, 2008 at 05:05

    Okay…I’m going to try and rise to the challenge of one of the suggested (difficult) first lines:

    There once was an EU official
    Who said Lisbon could be beneficial
    The Irish stayed “stout”
    and voted it out.
    The damage was NOT superficial!

  31. 31 Bob in Queensland
    June 15, 2008 at 05:10

    And, for luck, the other one the BBC set as a challenge!

    There was a young country called Ireland
    That thought the EU a liar and,
    In votes they said “out”
    Just leave us our stout
    Ahern’s no political firebrand!

  32. 32 ZK
    June 15, 2008 at 08:05

    Bob, I don’t know if that would work. “Liar and” doesn’t really work for me. 😉

    (P.S. — The current Taoiseach is Brian Cowen. Ahern left office last month.)

  33. 33 John in Germany
    June 15, 2008 at 08:29


    Hello Steve, nice to read you. Thanks for the compliment, (not sarcastic).

    Yours were ok, where’s the problem. A Limerick-make a point with a laugh.

    Where are we going when even a Limerick becomes a grammatical study theme on the BEEB.

    An Irish professor called Hugh,
    Voted no cause he thought he knew.
    To his surprise its the EU’S demise,
    now he’s a porter on the station at Crew.

    John in Germany

  34. 34 Bob in Queensland
    June 15, 2008 at 08:33

    ….but Ahern campaigned hard in favour of the referendum didn’t he? And the other Ahern (Dermot) was the official spokesperson in serveral of the news stories I read.

    (and I admit the end of line 2 is a bit of a cheat, but at least it scans…sort of!)

  35. 35 ZK
    June 15, 2008 at 11:12

    Here’s one I just randomly thought up.

    This week the Republic of Eire
    raised the European Union’s ire
    That old Lisbon Treaty
    Was just a bit fishy
    And now they’re in a quagmire.

    I’m not too sure about lines 3-4. I suppose it rhymes though.

  36. 36 Colleen
    June 15, 2008 at 17:52

    ‘Bout a treaty there was some business,
    the people of EIre said “What is this?!?
    it’s our freedom you want,
    but we’re on to your stunt.
    What will it be next? Our Guiness?!?”

  37. 37 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    June 16, 2008 at 10:02

    A recent election in Eire
    Set Europe’s great pundits afire
    But the rest of the earth
    Reacted with mirth
    Knowing neither post facto nor prior.

  38. 38 John in Germany
    June 16, 2008 at 14:47

    There was a young man called Ros,
    who would have voted no, what a loss.
    So he grabbed his mic,got on his bike,
    was last seen on his way to Kin-Loss.

    Now getting ready for the evening games.

    Be good.

    John in Germany.

  39. 39 mike
    January 12, 2009 at 19:05

    I wish i would have a vote in this “””Democracy”””” All my love to the people who got the chance to vote and voted NO!

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