Mitchel O ‘Grady
Poet / Patriot
A famous poet who wished to work as a farmer yet found time to support the Land League. This son of a farmer born during 1877; was christened Michael but changed his name as an adult.
As a young person his family were evicted; his parents died shortly afterwards. O ‘Grady was cared for by Mickey Walsh a cobbler who trained the young man as a shoe – maker.
He longed to return to farm work. During the 1880’s over two hundred tradesmen from various parts of the county assembled on a site that had been his father-in-laws’ cottage to assist him. They rebuilt the house in one day! It was deliberately constructed on both estates of Lord Kilmaine & Lady Dunville with the result that if either landlord wished to evict the occupiers they would immediately move to the other section of the cottage. The builders were fed during the construction by P. W. Nally & Fanny Parnell. It became known as the Land League Cottage.
O ‘Grady was deeply involved with the organization. He supported Charles Stuart Parnell.
Mitchel O ‘Grady was famous for his poetry which was published in several local newspapers & several magazines. Among the articles he penned was a piece that highlighted the qualities of products manufactured by a local firm: for which he received a postal order to the value of five shillings.
O ‘Grady married Winnifred Brennan from Lisnolan on 4th February 1912 at St. Cronan’s Church in Balla.
Mitchel O ‘Grady demise occurred at the County Home in Castlebar on 1st May 1934, he was interred in Balla cemetery. His wife’s demise occurred on 29th November 1946.
Information received 2017 from Alan King at http://www.mayolibrary.ie/en/LocalStudies/