On Saturday, November 1st Toomevara author Brendan Lynch unveiled a blue plaque to mark poet Patrick Kavanagh’s first Dublin address at 51 Upper Drumcondra Road.
Peter MacDonnell of the Monaghan Association said “Brendan was chosen because he knew the poet and because of his immense efforts to chronicle literary Dublin, particularly in the lean 1950s when Patrick Kavanagh was trying to make his way here. He has produced three books on the subject over the past eight years. I think that Patrick would be impressed with such effort and consistency!”
Those who attended the ceremony included writers, artists and politicians; the ceremony also featured a reading of Kavanagh’s poems by Dr Una Agnew of the Milltown Institute.
Brendan Lynch said: “Patrick Kavanagh restored joy to poetry and renewed our awareness and appreciation of simple things. He reconnected us with nature, particularly in those canal poems which people now so easily recite, because they can understand and identify with them.
Seamus Heaney insisted: “Kavanagh taught me the courage of my own experience. He taught me that that nothing is trivial. The commonplace, the ordinary is as exciting, as pregnant as the largest notion, the largest theme”.
“Single-handed Patrick turned poetry into something that the man in the street could celebrate. From his lean Drumcondra days, he went on to become part of Dublin history.
“Indeed, ‘if ever you go to Dublin town’ has almost become a city anthem. And it all started - against overwhelming odds - in this house.
“And one thing more we shouldn’t forget. With the spiritual qualities which so impressed May O’Flaherty and Mary King of Parsons Bookshop, Patrick also possessed rare courage.
“He despised the humbug of the dark ‘40s and ‘50s. With a select handful which included Frank O’Connor, Sean O’Faolain and John Ryan, he faced down the rampant isms of the period, religion, nationalism and the cronyism he saw all around him.
“With this new plaque up, going to the airport will now never be the same again!
“I will never pass here without feeling pleasant thoughts and taking inspiration from Patrick’s faith and endurance.
“And the similarly edifying support and loyalty of his brother, Peter – shades of Theo and Vincent van Gogh.
“This house occupies a very special place in the Kavanagh legend,” Toomevara author Brendan Lynch concluded.