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Thomas Moore, The Bard of Erin (1779-1852)

On February 25th in 1852 “The Bard of Erin” Thomas Moore died. He is greatly under-appreciated for his songs, poetry, biographical works and contribution to the history of Ireland. His birthplace at 12 Aungier St would be known to many as J.J. Smyths the bar and jazz venue. It was redeveloped some years ago although it still notes at the front that it was the place of his birth.

moore tavern

He attended the famous Samuel Whyte school on Grafton Street and although Catholic, was allowed to attend Trinity College subsequent to the catholic relief act in 1793, and in college became good friends with Robert Emmet. After studying at Trinity he went on to London and later took up a post he was offered in Bermuda. During his time there the people considered him their laureate, as his talent began to show. In the early years of the 19th century with support he set about collating and publishing the Irish Melodies, which would become his most popular works, released in several volumes over numerous years. When you consider the equivalent in Scotland of Moore would be Robert Burns, the relative praise he gets in Ireland is poles apart.

Works such as the poem “The meeting of the waters”(Avoca, Wicklow) are well knownand “The Last Rose of Summer” has been and is still covered by many artists. His statue in Dublin, although in a busy area on Westmoreland St. is not in an ideal place and in front of what used to be public toilets. Luas works mean a temporary removal of the statue anyway it was somewhat obscured previously. Which wasn’t the case in earlier pics of the spot:

thomas moore statue 1910

Some of Moore’s relatives are buried in St. Kevin’s graveyard in Camden Row, Dublin, although he himself settled and passed away in Wiltshire, south west England. When birthdays of past Irish greats come around or anniversaries they are usually prominent in online media but hopefully in the future there may be a revival of interest in Thomas Moore and his legacy.


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