Tadhg Gaeleach O'Suilleabhain
Tadgh Gaeleach OSúilleabháin, poet, died in the doorway of the newly constructed Catholic Cathedral in April 1795. He was a friend of Edmund Rice and his poems were often sung as hymns throughout the Munster province. He is buried in Ballylaneen, Co. Waterford and his headstone bears an epitaph in Latin written by a fellow Irish poet.
Location: Barronstrand Street
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Extract of information on Tadgh Gaelech O’Suilleabháin 1715-1795
Tadgh Gaelach O’Suilleabháin was born in Meenteenowen in the parish of Tournafulla, Limerick. He was possibly educated locally but it is also suggested that he received further education abroad as he spoke Latin, Greek and Hebrew.
At the age of 25 he moved to Cork where he was a hedge school master. Sometime after 1760 he went to live in the Dungarven area where he roamed the countryside as a “spailpín”. Here he did a considerable amount of writing which earned him quite a reputation. His education and knowledge earned him great respect and he worked for many farmers and taught their children.
Tadgh was also a great musician playing both the harp and Uileann pipes. He is best remembered for his religious poems including “Gile mo chroí” and “Duan chroí Iosa” which was arranged by Sean O Riada and is sung regularly at Irish vernacular Masses.
He ended his days in Waterford and it is said that he was forever praying for a “bás Naofa, Lá Naofa, in áit Naofa”. He died on a Sunday in Waterford Cathedral after receiving Holy Communion and is buried in Ballylaneen cemetery. The first edition of his poetry was published in Limerick after his death.