Acclaimed poet Patrick Kavanagh (1904–67) was born in the picturesque little village of Inniskeen, 10km northeast of Carrickmacross. The Patrick Kavanagh Resource Centre is housed in the village's old parish church where Kavanagh was baptised; he's buried in the attached graveyard. The centre's staff have a passion for his life and work that is contagious. Download a self-guided literary tour of the village and the picturesque surrounding countryside (5.6km in all) from the website.
The centre hosts events including a Writers' Weekend in late July/early August.
Kavanagh's long work The Great Hunger (1942) blasted away the earlier clichés of Anglo-Irish verse and revealed Ireland's poor farming communities as half-starved, broken-backed and sexually repressed. His best-known poem, 'On Raglan Road' (1946), was an ode to his unrequited love. It doubled as the lyrics for the traditional Irish air 'The Dawning of the Day', which has been performed by Van Morrison, Mark Knopfler, Billy Bragg, Sinéad O'Connor and countless others.