‘The Ballad of Bella Brooks’ © Joe Canning 2019. All Rights Reserved.

[Local history | ‘The Ballad of Bella Brooks’ | Purportedly murdered in 1876 and found drowned in the Finn near Castlefin, Co Donegal | No one was convicted of the crime tho’ rumours abounded at the time] Joe Canning ‘ A look at Ireland in verse’ ‘The Ballad of Bella Brooks’© Joe Canning 2019. All […]

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‘The Meeting of the Waters’ by Thomas Moore

‘The Meeting of the Waters’ Thomas Moore There is not in the wide world a valley so sweet As that vale in whose bosom the bright waters meet; O, the last rays of feeling and life must depart, Ere the bloom of that valley shall fade from my heart. Yet it was not that Nature […]

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#OTD in 1866 – Birth of nationalist poet and writer, Alice Milligan, in Omagh, Co Tyrone.

Alice Milligan was born and brought up as a Methodist in Gortmore, near Omagh, Co Tyrone. Alice was one of eleven children and from 1877 to 1887 attended Methodist College, Belfast, after which she completed a teacher-training course. Together with her father she wrote a political travelogue of the north of Ireland in 1888, Glimpses […]

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#OTD in 2013 – World-renowned poet and playwright Seamus Heaney died in the Blackrock Clinic in Dublin following a short illness, aged 74.

“History says, Don’t hope On this side of the grave, But then, once in a lifetime The longed-for tidal wave Of justice can rise up, And hope and history rhyme.” ―Seamus Heaney Seamus Heaney was awarded numerous prizes over the years and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995. He was born to a farming […]

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‘She Is Far From The Land’ by Thomas Moore

Robert Emmet’s love affair with Sarah Curran inspired Thomas Moore to write ‘She Is Far From The Land’. ‘She is Far from the Land’ By Thomas Moore She is far from the land, where her young hero sleeps, And lovers are round her, sighing; But coldly she turns from their gaze, and weeps, For her […]

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‘Patient Hero’ © Joe Canning 2018. All Rights Reserved. 

‘Patient Hero’ © Joe Canning 2018. All Rights Reserved.  I speak of Robert Emmet And the words he had to say Before the black hat sent him To an unknown place in clay The words that Gael and hero spoke To those that took his life, To those who broke the heart of Sarah. She […]

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#OTD in 1754 – Birth of Dr. William Drennan in Belfast; physician, poet, educationalist political radical and 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 1870 – Birth of Eva Gore-Booth, poet, trade unionist and feminist, on the Lissadell Estate in Co Sligo.

Eva Selina Laura Gore-Booth was an Irish poet and dramatist, and a committed suffragist, social worker and labour activist. She was born at Lissadell House, Co Sligo, the younger sister of Constance Gore-Booth, later known as the Countess Markievicz. Both she and Constance, who later became a prominent Irish revolutionary, reacted against their privileged background […]

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