A Poet’s Passing



Paddy Finnegan in 2013

Poet and Big Issues seller Paddy Finnegan, a familiar sight on Grafton Street, Dublin has died.

Stephen James Smith writes:

“Paddy was a wonderful man who inspired me with his poetry and acted as a great supporter of other young poets too. He fought the good fight and was seen most days outside Belwey’s selling the Big Issue. I’d often stop and have a chat and buy him a cup of tea, he’d offer up a smile and a few words in Irish.
“I’m sitting here now listening to his CD ‘Fion Ceol agus Filioct’, only a couple of months back he’d asked me to help him make more, I was awaiting his call to help make this happen, and as he speaks to me beyond the grave his verse is still unnerving me with his gravely pitted voice holding my ears and I can’t help but think he got that tone from much harshness, perhaps self inflicted but also perhaps because society looked past him.
“Paddy you’ll always live on in my memory, you’ll always be one of the first people who made poetry sing to me, you’ll always be a writers’ writer, a warrior with words. The Fionn mac Cumhaill of verse. This is a video of Paddy reciting his poen Poet From Parnassus…”

18 thoughts on “A Poet’s Passing

  1. Órlaith de Búrca

    I am saddened by his loss. He raised my spirits once when I stopped outside Trinity once and purchased a Big Issue. He held me in thrall with his soft, gentle western accent and beautiful Irish. From that day I bought the Big Issue just to hear that voice and to engage in Irish and talk with him. I had the privilege of going for a drink with him in O’ Neills one evening in October. I bought the first round tea and whiskey for us both and he bought the next one which moved me. I finished the drink sooner than he and left him in O’Neills having left him my number as he invited me to come to Galway some Sunday evening to hear him recite some poetry, I offered to sing a song. It was a privilege ti ‘know’ him for such a brief time. I relished the talk of Poetry and politics and the Irish language and his native Kilkerrin and the west where my people come from. Ar dheis Dé go raiibh a anam’.
    Órlaith de Búrca

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