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Thomas Moore was Irish, with his father’s pedigree from the Kerry Gaeltacht, and since it mattered a great deal to most Irish of the time, he was Catholic. However, after his studies at Trinity College, he sought a life in England, married a Protestant woman and had his children baptized and raised Protestant. He became a very popular poet, singer and entertainer, and friend to many English aristocrats, including Lord Byron and Prime Minister Lord John Russell. Yet, at the same time Moore ardently defended Irish independence and Catholic freedoms. Underneath his romantic poetry lay a sometimes scathing critique of English colonial power in Ireland.


Conference paper presented by John B. Roney at the New England Regional Meeting of the American Conference for Irish Studies 1-2 Nov. 2013.