Henry L. Gavigan

The Bard of Kilmactigue (AKA Henry L. Gavan)

Henry Lawrence Gavigan (1872-1933), was one of eleven children. Born into poverty, to parents who had survived the Great Famine, he grew up in an Ireland that was conflicted between its loyalty to the British Empire on the one hand and a desperate struggle to escape it on the other.

After attending and teaching school in his native Kilmactigue in Co. Sligo, Henry emigrated to America in 1893. He quickly made his way in life, progressing to a key administration position in the U.S. Postal Service.

During his lifetime, Henry developed a reputation as a poet and became affectionately known as The Bard of Kilmactigue.


My native land of mountains grand
I love thee to the core,
With all an exile’s yearning love,
And will till life’s no more.


The Bard of Kilmactigue–His life and collected poems… by Pat McCarrick will be launched in 2021.