Patrick Kavanagh Centre
Patrick Kavanagh Centre

Patrick Kavanagh Centre Officially Opens

The award-winning Patrick Kavanagh Centre in County Monaghan was officially opened earlier this week by Irish government officials.

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The center, which is housed in the deconsecrated St. Mary's Catholic Church, is dedicated to the late poet's life and works.

It is located in his hometown of Inisheen.
The Patrick Kavanagh Centre in Inniskeen, Co. Monaghan. Photo courtesy of Tourism Ireland.

The opening of the center is the result of a €1.2 million restoration project that has resulted in a new visitor experience and cultural space.

Among other things, the center contains a digital exhibition that is intended to connect viewers to the raw power of Kavanagh’s words, as well as the places and rural landscapes that inspired them.

A variety of other multimedia tools are available at the center to help visitors further interpret the poet’s work.

They include a variety of touchscreens, memory boxes, letters, and early 20th-century ephemera.

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The Complete Poems of Patrick Kavanagh

Patrick Kavanagh’s Life

Kavanagh was born in 1904, the fourth of 10 children. He left primary school at age 13 to help his father, a cobbler. Kavanagh also worked on the farm as a young boy.

Life as a farmer and cobbler was not what Kavanagh dreamed of, however. Considered a self-taught poet, Kavanagh left home in the late 1920s following the publication of his poetry.

That would set in motion his career as a writer under the watchful eye of his mentor George William Russell.

statue of a man sitting on a bench Patrick Kavanagh Centre
A statue of Patrick Kavanagh in Dublin. Photo courtesy of Tourism Ireland.

Much of Kavanagh’s literature was inspired by his love of County Monaghan.

He was once quoted as saying, “O Monaghan hills when is writ your story. A carbon copy will unfold my being.”

His many works speak to the themes of soul, love, beauty, nature, and God.

Visitors to the center can also take the Kavanagh Trail, which begins there and makes its way through the village, down lanes, and over the fields.

One of the stopping points of interest along the trail is the Kavanagh homestead, the inspiration for his novel, “Tarry Flynn” and his poems, “The Great Hunger” and “A Christmas Childhood,” retelling a magical Christmas that he experienced at six years old.

The Christmas concert video below, produced by the center in collaboration with Music Generation Cavan/Monaghan and the Monaghan County Council, is based on Kavanagh’s very special Christmas poem.

The center is open from Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and on Saturdays and bank holidays from 11 a.m. to 4:30m p.m.

Admission is €10 for a self-guided tour, with children 6 and under free admission.

A guided exhibition tour is also available for €12, with children 6 and under also free.

An enhanced guided tour with a Patrick Kavanagh expert is available, too, for €25, with children 6 and under free.

For more information, visit the website.

Read More: 5 Irish Writer Attractions to Explore

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