22 August-Charles Kickham

Charles Kickham, who was a native of Co Tipperary, Ireland, was a novelist, poet and revolutionary. He was one of those present when the Irish Republican Brotherhood held its first meeting on St Patrick’s Day 1858. He was the author of novels such as ‘Knocknagow’. He also wrote the ballad ‘The Glen of Aherlow’ which was published in the Kilkenny Journal on October 7th 1857.

Charles Joseph Kickham was born in Mullinahone, Co Tipperary on May 9th 1828. He was educated locally. Following an accident at age 13 he grew up partially deaf and almost blind. Despite this he became involved in literary and revolutionary activities. In 1865 he was imprisoned for treason. He spent four years in Pentonville Prison, London, before being released due to ill-health.

Following his release from prison, Kickham devoted his time to writing. His poem, ‘The Glen of Aherlow’ was based on the life of Patrick Sheehan who was blinded at the Siege of Sevastopol (1854/55) during the Crimean War. Sheehan was jailed for begging on Grafton Street in Dublin. The poem shamed the British Government into providing Sheehan with a pension.

Charles Kickham died in Dublin at the age of 54 in the year 1882 On This Day.

Image from page 72 of “Ireland in London” (1889) by Internet Archive Book Images on 1889-01-01 00:00:00

Glen of Aherlow by minor9th on 2008-04-29 00:40:08

 

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