The Lea-Green Down - 60 poets contribute to poetry anthology

By Hayden Moore

Fifty years after the passing of poet Patrick Kavanagh, a local woman has published a book that is jam-packed with response poems to the poetry of the late Kavanagh, from other local poets.

The Lea-Green Down is an anthology that had over 60 poets contribute to the project, with 12 of them coming from South Dublin.

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Eileen Casey, who composed the book, is an award-winning published poet that lives in Tallaght who picked up the Hennessy Award, and received a Katherine and Patrick Kavanagh Fellowship in 2011.

Eileen spoke to The Echo about what inspired her to create an anthology book of Patrick Kavanagh’s work, she said: “Most writers first meet Kavanagh in the schoolroom or as apprentice poets, or as older poets looking back while also looking forward.

"Kavanagh appeals to a very wide range of experience. He knew the highs and the lows of the human condition.”

The anthology book was officially launched on July 18 in the Irish Writers Centre, and among those who attended the launch where a few of the books local contributors, including Doreen Duffy and Pauline Fayne.

The book was launched by Dr Una Agnew and the Kavanagh Scholar and Academic, with Una saying in her speech at the event: “Each poet turns a new furrow that responds to or reflects in a new way on a chosen Kavanagh poem.”

Each poet who contributed to the anthology chose a Kavanagh poem each, and wrote a new poem in response to that chosen piece – among those others who contributed from Tallaght, Clondalkin, and Lucan are Susan Condon, Michael J Whelan, Marie Gahan, Joan Power, Georgina Casserly, Mae Newman, Tony Bardon, Tony Shields, Maria Wallace and Larry Scully.

Original Kavanagh poems are published alongside the response pieces after receiving permission from The Kavanagh Estate Trustees, and received some funding from South Dublin County Council to help get the book off the ground.

The Lea-Green Down is available from Dubray Books on Grafton Street, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to purchase directly from the publisher Fiery Arrow.

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