#OTD in 1882 – Birth of writer and poet, Padraic Ó Conaire, in Galway.

Patrick Joseph Conroy (Pádraic Ó Conaire) was born in Galway City in 1882 to middle-class Catholic publicans. Following the untimely deaths of his parents (his father in 1887 and his mother in 1894), he was reared by extended family members in the Connemara Gaeltacht and Co Clare. He attended Rockwell College, County Tipperary, before transferring […]

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‘Ireland Abú’ © Aine Kelly 2018. All Rights Reserved. 

‘Ireland Abú’ © Aine Kelly 2018. All Rights Reserved. The month it is February the year is 2018, I am sitting on the lough shore. It feels like I’m in an endless dream. A lonely curlew glides silently and freely on his way. I feel a calmness so blessed by those shores of old Lough Neagh. […]

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‘The Fairies’ by William Allingham

‘The Fairies’ by William Allingham Up the airy mountain, Down the rushy glen, We daren’t go a-hunting For fear of little men; Wee folk, good folk, Trooping all together; Green jacket, red cap, And white owl’s feather! Down along the rocky shore Some make their home, They live on crispy pancakes Of yellow tide-foam; Some […]

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#OTD in 1880 – Birth of economist, journalist, barrister, writer, poet, soldier and Home Rule politician, Tom Kettle, in Artane, Co Dublin.

Tom Kettle was a journalist, barrister, writer, poet, soldier, economist and Home Rule politician. As a member of the Irish Parliamentary Party, he was Member of Parliament (MP) for East Tyrone from 1906 to 1910 at Westminster. He joined the Irish Volunteers in 1913, then on the outbreak of World War I in 1914 enlisted […]

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‘Haunting Souls’ © Joe Canning 2018. All Rights Reserved. 

‘Haunting Souls’ © Joe Canning 2018. All Rights Reserved. The soles of my feet are in heaven, Basking in the warm glow of turf flame. Wafting scents from a million year sod; Give pleasure to the welcoming nostril; The remainder ascends to the cosmos Ancient peat hisses in gentle disintegration. The Titan that is Earth […]

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#OTD in 1820 – Death of physician, poet, educator and political radical, William Drennan, one of the chief architects of the Society of United Irishmen.

William Drennan’s poetic output included some powerful and moving pieces. He is chiefly remembered today for “Erin” written in 1800, in which he penned the first reference in print to Ireland as “The Emerald Isle”: “Nor one feeling of vengeance presume to defile The cause, or the men, of the Emerald Isle.” Drennan came to […]

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#OTD in 1979 – Death of Eileen Shanahan – one of the small number of Irish women poets. Her best-known poem, The Three Children (Near Clonmel), was included in the Oxford Book of Irish Verse (1958).

Eileen Shanahan (1901-1979) was born in Dublin. She worked as a secretary at the League of Nations in Geneva from 1929 until the invasion of France in 1940.  Although she published widely in magazines and anthologies, she never published a collection of her poems during her lifetime and her work remains uncollected. The Three Children […]

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‘Martha’s Final Teardrop’ © Joe Canning 2018. All Rights Reserved.

‘Martha’s Final Teardrop’ © Joe Canning 2018. All Rights Reserved. In a cold room of whispering lips, A small glint of sunlight dressed her face. Like a heavenly ray it brought colour to her Frail and wasted anaemic cheekbones. She used to scold us for calling her Martha. ‘I’m your mother and never forget that’. […]

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