Sunday, December 11, 2016

John Montague (1929 - 2016.)

John Montague 
February 28 1929 to 10 December 2016.

I am saddened to report the death of John Montague in Nice. I offer my condolences to his wife Elizabeth Wassell and daughters Oonagh and Sibyl.

"Il n'y a qu' un bonheur dans la vie,
c'est d'aimer et d'être aimé."

( "There is only one happiness in life: to love and be loved." - Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin)

Photos courtesy of  Niall Hartnett

The lofty achievements of John Montague are, and will remain, a constant source of inspiration and pride to poets and writers everywhere and nowhere more so than here in Tyrone. This was one of our own. As he said himself;-

"..The truth was that Tyrone had not known a professional poet since the days of the O’Neills, and through my long literary apprenticeship I was harnessing an artesian energy from many silent centuries..."

He was a man of many places - Brooklyn, Paris, Nice, West Cork yet now finally returns to Garbh acaidh (Gavaghey) the 'rough field' of his childhood.

I still vividly remember reading “The Trout” from A Chosen Light 1967 and the line; 
"..To this day I can / Taste his terror on my hands.."

John Montague always had a twinkle in his eye and that certain unpredictability of what words would come out of him next. That genuine directness and honesty will continue to shine from his work down all the years to come. He is badly missed.


Des Donnelly, Poet, Co Tyrone.

Acknowledgements & References

I am indebted to Niall Hartnett for permission to use his photographs. |

Line from 'The Trout'

© 1995, John Montague From: Collected Poems Publisher: The Gallery Press, Oldcastle, 1995 ISBN: 1852351594

For those interested in learning more about the man and his work. 

For those interested in learning more about Garvaghy the place and the bordering townlands: Altcloghfin to the east, Brackagh to the west, Errigal to the east, Gort to the east, Kilnaheery to the west, Rarogan to the south, Shantavny Irish to the east, Shantavny Scotch to the east, Tullanafoile to the west, Tycanny to the west