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Sigerson Clifford Monument

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Cahersiveen
Kerry
Republic of Ireland

Sigerson Clifford was among the foremost folk poets of the 1900's. He is commemorated in poems and songs and by a monument in Cahersiveen County Kerry.

Sigerson Clifford was born in 1913. Aged six he went to live with his mother’s father Edward Sigerson and stayed for four years. He never forgot his grandfather’s fund of stories when the winter nights were gathering in he would sit with his cronies around the kitchen fire telling tales of weird and ghostly happenings. Later Sigerson would remember them in a poem 'Where the old men thatched their dreams with adjectives'.

At school with the Christian Brothers his essays and poems won praise. Schooldays over he joined the civil service where 'they chained my bones to an office stool and my soul to a clock'.

Clifford wrote a number of poems and plays, including The Great Pacificator, which was staged at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, in 1947. Clifford is best remembered for his poem, The Boys of Barr na Sráide, which was named after a street in Cahersiveen. The poem recalls the life of his boyhood friends starting from when they were young children through to the Black and Tan period, and up to the civil war. Later set to music, the song has been recorded by numerous traditional and folk singers including Christy Moore and Tim Dennehy.

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