Michael Hartnett

Irish history, folklore and all that

Michael Hartnett (Irish: Mícheál Ó hAirtnéide) (18 September 1941 – 13 October 1999) was an Irish poet who wrote in both English and Irish. He was one of the most significant voices in late 20th-century Irish writing and has been called “Munster‘s de facto poet laureate”.[1]

Hartnett was born in Croom Hospital, County Limerick.[2] Although his parents’ name was Harnett, he was registered in error as Hartnett on his birth certificate. In later life he declined to change this as his legal name was closer to the Irish Ó hAirtnéide. He grew up in the Maiden Street area of Newcastle West, Co. Limerick, spending much of his time with his grandmother Bridget Halpin, who resided in the townland of Camas, in the countryside nearby. Hartnett claimed that his grandmother, was one of the last native speakers to live in Co. Limerick…

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