A critical edition of the Selected Writings of Ennis poet Thomas Dermody (1775-1802), edited and introduced by Dr Michael Griffin of the School of Languages, Literature, Culture and Communication, and published by Field Day, was formally launched at the Royal Spa Hotel, Lisdoonvarna, on Friday August 17 in conjunction with the Merriman Summer School.
Much admired in his own time by leading figures in the political and literary cultures of Dublin and London for his prodigious talents in poetry (he published his first volume of verse in 1789 at the age of 14), Dermody was also infamous for his self-desctructive lifestyle. He died in London at the age of 27.
According to Professor Seamus Deane, the Keough Professor of Irish Studies at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, Dermody ‘is now seen in a more chastened spirit as a figure who flits uncertainly between Robert Burns and Thomas Moore, the great exemplars of those in whom a romantic nationalism and a liberal politics were key ingredients in the production of the new poetry. Michael Griffin’s edition of Dermody defines his achievements and status with an unprecedented authority and precision’.