Tyrone poet given headstone after 124 years

Tyrone poet given headstone after 124 years

The grave of a Co. Tyrone poet who died two centuries ago is to be given a long-awaited headstone next month.

Strabane-native John McCrossan – also known as the Evish Bard – has lay in an unmarked grave since his death in 1895.

Around 100 members of his family from around the world will meet up next month, where local priest Fr Declan Boland will celebrate Mass in memory of the writer and dedicate the headstone.

The working-class farmer spent much of his time reciting and writing poems published mostly by the Farmers’ Almanac. He also won awards for his work while sharing some of his writings with his local church, community and family overseas.

His poems were re-discovered by his great granddaughter Rebecca in the early 2000’s, and his extended family decided to launch a GoFundMe page to raise funds for the headstone, amounting to £3,800 (€4,200) at time of print.

A Mass will be celebrated by Fr Boland in the Immaculate Conception Church, which John McCrossan wrote a poem about.