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Edward Walsh

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Irish poet, born at Derry actually Doire, near Kiskeam in County Cork in 1805; died at Cork, 6 August, 1850. When little more than a boy he showed great intellectual gifts, and in 1830 was private tutor in County Cork. He was for a time teacher of a school at Millstreet, whence, in 1837, he removed to Tourin, County Waterford, having been appointed to a school under the Commissioners of Education. Many of his songs and poems appeared between the years 1832-39, and he contributed to the "Nation". Worried with the surroundings of an uncongenial occupation, and pestered by officials, whose visits were ill-received by the super-sensitive poet, he went to reside in Dublin in 1843, and was befriended by Gavan Duffy, who got him appointed sub-editor of the "Monitor". His "Irish Jacobite Poetry" (1844) and his "Irish Popular Songs" (1847) gave unmistakable evidence of a genuine poet. Yet he was forced to fight against poverty, and, in 1848, he accepted the post of schoolmaster to the junior convicts of Spike Island, where he was visited by John Mitchell, on his way to penal servitude, who vividly describes in his "Jail Journal" his meeting with Walsh. Not long afterwards, he secured the schoolmastership of Cork work-house, but died within twelve months. A fine monument, with an epitaph in Irish and English, was erected to his memory in the Father Mathew Cemetery at Cork. Among his lyrics "Mo Chragibhin Cno", "Brighidin ban mo stor", and "O'Donovan's Daughters" are in most Irish anthologies, while his translations from the Irish are both faithful and musical.


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