Photographer's Note

This is a recent bronze statue of Michael Hogan, the self-styled Bard of Thomond (1832-1899), born at New Road in Limerick. He was a famous poet who wrote particularly about the life of the poor in Ireland, with whom he could easily relate because of his life experiences growing up in the region. He experienced as a boy some of the worst years of the Irish potato famine, arguably the worst humanitarian crisis of the 19th century, and was deeply affected. He wrote in his memoirs towards the end of his life: “I have a fearful recollection of those dreadful years of devastation. I remember seeing the famine-and-plague pits open in the fields of Killeely where thousands of coffinless corpses were flung in heaps over each other from the pestilential pens of the numerous workhouses where they were poisoned with rotten Indian meal food and deadly medicine… The Irish people melted away with a vengeance in those terrible years of hunger and plague and the land became a wilderness dotted with graves.” Hogan even fell on hard times in the last years of his life, living in various rented tenement rooms, but managed to stay outside the workhouses he detested so. Hogan earned a living as a laborer and watchman, and was subsequently in dire financial straits frequently. Family members, including his wife and mother, were forced to the workhouses, however. His best poem is said to be “Drunken Thady,” which was written in his 20s and published in a collection of his verses “The Lays and Legends of Thomond,” which also features a famine poem entitled “The Living Skeleton: A Vision of the Famine Year, 1847.” Long after the famine, the term “pauper” which was employed in the poem continued to be applied to the poor. He was a frequent contributor to various Irish papers. He went to America at one point but returned in 1889.

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: Terez Anon (terez93) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 74 W: 78 N: 713] (1525)
  • Genre: People
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2006-07-00
  • Categories: Artwork
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2008-04-22 20:04
Viewed: 3562
Points: 3
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Additional Photos by Terez Anon (terez93) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 74 W: 78 N: 713] (1525)
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