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Tullamore's Patrick Kavanagh connections celebrated

7th August 2018

LINKS between the internationally renowned Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh and Tullamore were celebrated, appropriately on the banks of the Grand Canal, on Thursday evening last.

The Monaghan poet who had a love of water and the Grand Canal had family connections with the Offaly county town, explained Lorraine Dormer, Secretary of Wordsmiths Tullamore, the group which organised the informal commemoration.

Explained Lorraine: His grandfather was superintendent of the old workhouse in Tullamore, later the county home, which was literally located just across the road from the canal.

Acknowledging that a lot of people would be unaware of the poet's local connections, Lorraine explained his grandmother was a Molloy, originally from Harbour St, and related to the late Kitty Flanagan, wife of business man Johnny Flanagan.

Thursday evening's ceremony featured readings from Kavanagh's poetry, including some which has not been published in this country.

We also had some music including the singing of 'Raglan Road' and 'My Lonely Banna Strand', outlined Lorraine.

The Wordsmiths members were joined by like-minded souls from a Kilbeggan literary group in neighbouring Westmeath for the occasion.

Due to inclement weather conditions, most of the proceedings were conducted indoors in Eugene's public house. Doubtless Kavanagh would have approved.

Wordsmiths is a group of literary enthusiasts from Tullamore and surrounds which meets in Tullamore central library each Thursday evening from 5.45 pm to 7.45 pm.

The group is chaired by retired Offaly co. council engineer, Vincent Hussey and new members are welcome.

To join or for more details contact Lorraine Dormer at 087 6257475.

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