Ceremony to mark 50th anniversary of death of poet Patrick Kavanagh

People gather at the graveside of Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh in Inniskeen, as they mark the 50th anniversary of his death. Picture by Brian Lawless/PA

SOME of Ireland's leading writers gathered at the grave of Patrick Kavanagh yesterday to mark the 50th anniversary of the poet's death.

Members of the Co Monaghan-born author's family also attended the ceremony at the former St Mary's Church in Inniskeen, which is now home to the Patrick Kavanagh Resource Centre.

The event to remember the legacy of the famous writer saw some of Kavanagh's best loved works recited.

Irish writers Eugene McCabe, Pat McCabe, Evelyn Conlon and Theo Dorgan were among those who read at his graveside.

Born in the townland of Mucker on November 30 1967, Kavanagh's writing was inspired by the everyday life of his local rural community.

Some of his best known works include, 'The Great Hunger', which told of the frustrations of life as a rural bachelor, and 'On Raglan Road', which was recorded by Luke Kelly of the Dubliners.

His poetry became very popular from the late 1950s until the late 1960s when it was published in New York and London. He also became one of the greatest literary influences on Seamus Heaney.

He died just seven months after he married Kathleen Barry Moloney in May 1967 after developing lung cancer.

The anniversary tribute, which was organised by Monaghan County Council and the Patrick Kavanagh Resource Centre in Inniskeen, was streamed live on the council's Facebook page.

Art Agnew, chairperson of the Patrick Kavanagh Centre, said the poet was always able to make "the extraordinary out of the ordinary."

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