The former home of St Patrick’s School in Donegall Street has played host to the launch of Complete Ballads of Padraic Gregory.
Over 100 people – some of them Gregory family members – packed into the old school room in the historic building to hear the famous poet’s grandson Patrick pay tribute to the man and launch the stunning 200-page collection.
Pat Ramsey from Lagan Press told the gathered audience that while capable of humour, Gregory’s poems never patronise his 'ain people' or indulge in easy sentimentality. On the contrary, the poems resonate with a peculiarly northern sense of pride and dignity. He said the poet – who was born in the 1880s in Belfast – and his work were still as relevant today as it was then.
Mr Ramsey said that the book, which features an introduction by Eamonn Hughes of Queen's University puts Gregory's achievement in its proper cultural context and bringing to general and critical attention a remarkable body of work.