“Joseph McGarrity (1874-1940), at the age of 18, left his Irish hometown of Carrickmore, County Tyrone to immigrate to America. He arrived in Philadelphia with no luggage, very little money and a strong sense of Irish nationalism that would soon attract him to become an active member of the Clan-na-Gael, the leading Irish republican organization in the United States. He would, during his lifetime, rise to lead the Clan-na-Gael and become a significant figure in the struggle for Irish independence.” (Brian McDonald, Blue Electrode blog)
Brian McDonald, PhD, the spring semester Digital Library intern, created the Digital Library’s latest online exhibit, “Joseph McGarrity: Man of Action, Man of Letters.” Joanne Quinn designed the graphics.
“What stands out after completing work on the exhibition is not necessarily McGarrity’s poetry, though his verse does have its moments, but rather his prodigious energy and drive,” Dr. McDonald said. “I’m left with a strong sense that poetry was central to his sense of himself. I don’t think it is really possible to distinguish McGarrity the revolutionary Irish nationalist from McGarrity the Irish balladeer, McGarrity the man of action from McGarrity the man of letters. I think that is a large part of why he is such a fascinating figure.”
The online exhibit begins with the “Curator’s Welcome.” This is followed by “Moods and Memories,” “’Playboy’ Controversy,” “Fenian Days,” “Easter Rising,” “Library,” “Poetic Circle,” “Memoirs & Travel Writing” and “Bibliography.” Each section includes text, often including quotations from McGarrity’s works, illustrations and references.
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