"Looking across the river from the Island Bank towards Thomondgate, one may see the pleasant tree-fringed garden that Michael Hogan, the Bard of Thomond, won from the Shannon foreshore. By almost incredible toil, and with his own hands, he carried and placed in position thousands of tons of stone and other materials to make the embankments. This work was spread over a period of seven years. At the head of the garden the Bard built a house which he called Thomond Cottage, and where he hoped to spend his days within sight of the scenes he loved, and from which he drew his inspiration. But, to use his own words - 'Domestic ingratitude and deceit, mercantile trickery, and legal treachery and fraud ' drove him from the home he had built, from the garden he had made, from the glorious mountain and river scenery in which he revelled, and sent him to spend his later years cooped up amidst uncongenial surroundings in the heart of the city." (Extract from, "The Glamour of Limerick," by A J O'Halloran 1926). Michael Hogan died in April, 1899, and was interred at Mt. St. Lawrence cemetery (lust enter by the main gates and turn right immediately, walk on a few yards and there is the grave on your left) The undertaker was Griffin's. He had been baptised at St. Munchin's, married at St. Mary's and his cortege was brought from St. Michael's Church.
BELLS BY FINBAR
Finbar Crowe, who hails from our parish, albeit the extension of same out to Corbally that occurred back in 1961. He is an excellent writer and a captivating researcher, who has contributed many very fine articles to the Old Limerick Journal. On Sunday last on LCCR (99.9) John O'Carroll, who conducts the History programme from 12 noon to 12.45pm each week, read from two of the journals. It concerned the the beautiful art of campanology, commonly referred to as bell-ringing. Many bell-ringers within our city play at two venues, St. Mary's Cathedral and at the Redemptorists. Space does not permit me to explore the various facets of the said art, but lets just mention a few. For example, one man told of his decades of being involved in the said art and clearly recalls that back in 1920, they had to sleep in the belfry due to the curfew. And yet another interesting piece on how following thirty years of silence, the bells rang out once again on Christmas Day in
1906. (Contained in the Old Limerick Journal 1983 and Winter 1984)
This will now take place on Saturday 29thApril in the Cathedral grounds (as part of Riverfest). If you are still interested in helping out with stewarding, etc, please let the Dean know. Your help will be required from 11am-4pm (lunch provided).
OUR NOBLE BARD
Michael Hogan, our great Bard of Thomond, passed away in April 1899, leaving his wife, Annie. A statue was finally erected in 2004, in recognition of this literary genius. It stands proudly close to King John's Castle, the artist being Jim Connolly, long time domiciled in Kilbaha, Co. Clare, but originally a Limerick native. 124 years passed on until his memory very much in the eye of those who are literary-minded and loyal to our city that statue, provided a true and vibrant memory to a man who worked by gas or candle- light and managed to produce a poetic gem stretching to almost 500 pages, hard-back in the leanest of lean times. This, outside of his innate poetic talent, has to have counted for something! For far too long his memory had been neglected in his native city. Never heard a word at school, while at home one occasionally heard reference to “Drunken Thady and the Bishop's Lady”