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04 Dec 2021

Longford Leader gallery: Abbeylara pays tribute to late poet John Montague

Nostalgia and no shortage of sentiment were the key ingredients on show in Abbeylara last Friday as locals turned out to honour one of its most eminent sons-the late poet, John Montague.

A splendidly handcrafted plaque was unveiled in the village in recognition of the American born writer's association with the area, a community he both admired and came to call his own during his early years.

Retired school principal John Fay heaped praise on Bernadette Grier and her involvement in kickstarting the project.

It was another of Mr Montague's literary peers, Noel Monahan, who alluded to how the idyllic village became the inspiration behind many of his earliest poems including “Abbeylara” as well as his much accaimed 'The Dead Kingdom'.

“He loved this village and the murmuring stream you can hear (in the background),” he told onlookers.

“Location was very important to him and a lot of John Montague's work is about the landscape.

“He would be so proud to see a plaque like this being made in his honour.”

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