Arthur Gerald Geoghegan

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Arthur Gerald Geoghegan, who was born in Dublin on the 1st of June 1810 entered into the Civil Service on June 12th 1830. He wrote poems for the ‘Dublin Journal of Temperance’; ‘Science and Literature’; the ‘Irish Penny Journal’; the ‘Dublin University Magazine’; the ‘Irish Monhtly’ and in its early years The Nation. He normally signed his poems with three asterisks and sometimes with the figure of a hand. He wrote a ballad poem “The Monks of Kilcrea which appeared in the Temperance Journal and this was published in book form a few times. An ardent antiquary, he was one of the earliest members of the Kilkenny Archaeological Society, and contributed to its journal. He exhibited a collection of his own antiquities on one occasion in London.

Geoghegan became collector of the Inland Revenue in 1857 and retired from the service in 1877. Charles Gavan Duffy states that on the eve of his (Duffy’s) emigration to Australia: – “Some practical men insisted that before seeing me for the last time there ought to be some permanent testimony of good will…….Arthur Geoghegan, then a young Protestant Nationalist in the Excise Department, afterwards one of the four officials called ‘The Kings of Somerset House’, wrote to offer me (Duffy) all the savings that he had accumulated to be repaid without interest, and at my absolute convenience……..It adds a flavour of rare magnanimity to Mr. Geoghegan’s offer, that he did not agree with me in the contest which had brought about my exile. ‘There is not on the face of God’s earth,’ he wrote (Geoghegan), ‘a more pious and self sacrificing priesthood than yours and as an Irishman I am proud of them……I differ from you on many points, but on none more so than that it is neither desirable or expedient for the Clergymen of your Church to take an active share in politics. O’Connell hastened emancipation some years ago by their assistance, there is no doubt equally true is it that they have most habitually checked and retarded, either directly or indirectly, the growth of a free and manly opinion in Ireland ever since”

Geoghegan settled down in London in 1869. Two of his poems “The Mountain Fern” and “After Aughrim” have been published in several anthologies

He died in Kensington, London, England on November 29th, 1889, 79 years old….and was buried in Kensal Green cemetery…….

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