North Tipperary Author Unveils Patrick Kavanagh Plaque in Dublin

Toomevara author Brendan Lynch last weekend (November 1) unveiled a blue plaque in Dublin to poet Patrick Kavanagh. The plaque is on 51 Upper Drumcondra Road, to which the poet moved from London in August 1939.

Peter MacDonnell of the Monaghan Association said ‘Brendan was chosen because of his immense efforts to chronicle literary Dublin, particularly in the lean 1950s when Patrick Patrick Kavanagh was trying to make his way here. He has produced three books on the subject over the past eight years, I think that Patrick would be impressed with such effort and consistency!’

Brendan Lynch (right) at the Patrick Kavanagh unveiling

Brendan Lynch (right) at the Patrick Kavanagh unveiling

The launch attendance included writers, artists and local politicians. It featured a reading of Kavanagh’s poems by Dr Una Agnew of the Milltown Institute, who has also published a book on the poet

Brendan Lynch, who met Kavanagh in Dublin said; ‘We owe a great debt to Patrick Kavanagh. He rescued verse from the academics and the literary snobs he endured in the Palace and Pearl Bars after his arrival in this house.

‘He restored joy to poetry and renewed our awareness and appreciation of simple things. He reconnected us with nature, particularly in those canal poems which people across the length and breadth of Ireland can now recite. Single-handed, Patrick turned poetry into something that the man in the street could celebrate. He became part of Dublin history. Indeed, If Ever You Go to Dublin Town  has almost become a city anthem. And it all started – against overwhelming odds –  in this house.

‘And one thing more we shouldn’t forget. With the spiritual qualities which so impressed May O’Flaherty and Mary King of Parsons Bookshop, Patrick also possessed rare courage. He despised the humbug of the dark Forties and Fifties. With a select handful which included Frank O’Connor, Sean O’Faolain and John Ryan, he faced down the rampant isms of the period, religion, nationalism and the cronyism he saw all around him.

‘I will never pass here again without feeling pleasant thoughts and taking inspiration from Patrick’s faith and endurance. He was a rare courageous and honest man and poet.’

Brendan Lynch has written three books on Dublin literary history. His autobiographical ‘There Might Be a Drop of Rain Yet’ records his youth in Toomevara, his first job in Thurles and his time in London, where his writing career commenced.

 

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