Thomas Davis - Young Irelander
On Oct. 14, 1814, Thomas Davis, a founder of the Young Ireland movement was born in Mallow, Co. Cork. He would later be called the unnamed poet laureate of the 19th century Republicans. His father was a British army surgeon and was of Anglo-Irish stock.
Davis studied law at Trinity, the university that groomed Wolfe Tone and Robert Emmet and was admitted to the bar but never practiced. In 1839 he joined the Repeal Association and began his short but influential political life. He would be a great advocate of learning the REAL history of Ireland. In 1840 he pleaded for an adequate and un-biased course of study in Irish history at Trinity.
Eventually the younger men of the Repeal Association tired of Daniel O'Connell's politiking. They were the men who were to form the Young Ireland movement with Thomas Davis, John Blake Dillon and Gavan Duffy as some of its leaders. They fronted their movement and spread its ideas thru the nationalist newspaper The Nation.
As a poet, he penned many poems famous amongst Republicans to this day. Most prominently he was the author of the theme to the Republican movement until the 1916 rising, "A Nation Once Again." Other beautiful poems of his include "The West's Asleep" and "Death of Owen Roe O'Neill".
He would not live to see his Young Irelander's attempt armed rising in 1848. He died in 1845 in Dublin after a terrible bout of fever, less than a month before his thirty-first birthday. His politics and influence, however, lived on thru the Fenians and his memory is carried on to this day.
More of Davis' poetry