Poet Seamus Mac Cuarta

With the Irish social system broken by military defeats and Plantations from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries and the princely families no longer available as patrons of the poets, the cultivation of Irish learning passed from the hereditary families into the hands of the common people.

Manuscripts were copied by them, modern stories after the manner of the ancient epics tales were composed and a group of poets arose in our own region here who were able to hold their own with any contemporary group throughout Ireland.

Of the Gaelic poets of Creggan the first to leave a mark on Irish literature was Seamus Dall Mac Cuarta, a native (probably) of the Omeath area.  His earliest compositions date from the last decade of the seventeenth century.  For a quarter of a century he turned out well-finished poems on contemporary events, religious themes, on the great Gaelic and Anglo-Norman families of his area and on his own blindness.  He wrote a great poem on the destruction of Glassdrummond Castle and another in praise of a member of the O’Neill family, its former owners, who had a distinguished military career abroad.  He died in 1732.

… more later …

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