Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Patrick Kavanagh and John McEnaney

I love this! On the side of the Patrick Kavanagh Centre in Inniskeen, the former parish Church, is this plaque commemorating another local poet John McEnaney. It's as if to remind us that poets like Kavanagh don't arrive from nowhere and that there are many levels of poetry.

I don't know much about McEnaney but on the Carrickmacross tour on last Saturday morning Larry McDermott the excellent guide mentioned that if you had a dispute with a neighbour instead of going to a solicitor you went to McEnaney the Bard and he would write a scurrilous attack on the neighbour for you. He also wrote ballads commemorating important local events and one of his most famous poems celebrated the victory of the Inniskeen Grattan Irish footballers in 1888.

There is a mention of the Bard here in the book Patrick Kavanagh by Darcy O'Brien and Kavanagh mentions McEnaney in his article A Poet's Country in The Word. There is also an article The Bard of Callenberg’ in the Irish Farmers’ Journal, February 4,1961.

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