William Drennan
 

 

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William Drennan 1754-1820

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Born in Belfast. He studied medicine in Edinburgh and after graduation, he practised in Newry. In 1791 he went to live in Dublin. He was one of the founders of the Society of United Irishmen and was itís first secretary and later itís president. After standing trial for seditious libel in 1794, he took little further part in the movement. He was one of the founders of the Royal Belfast Academical Institution. He wrote a number of poems and ballads, perhaps the most famous being When Erin First Rose. This was the first time that Ireland was referred to as the Emerald Isle, the appropriate lines being inscribed on his gravestone. Other works include Fugitive Pieces and The Wake of William Orr. He is buried in Belfast.

Further information, location and directions to the grave are to be found in "The End - An Illustrated Guide to the Graves of Irish Writers".  Click here to order a copy of this book