Riocard Bairead - Poet in Co. Mayo

Erris has its poet in Riocard Bairead, familiarly known in the district as Dick Buiread who lived in the latter half of the 18th century and the early part of the 19th century. The year of his death, very probably, was 1819. He composed many ballads, topical, bright and light of touch, and his ironic satire is still savoured by Erris men.

Knight, in 1836, wrote of him: “one man of real genius died about sixteen or eighteen years ago”. He goes on to describe him as sweet, correct, mellifluous in his language verse … his songs were sung and listened to. He seemed to follow the style of Swift … was an enthusiastic admirer of his.

Extract from: 'Mayo - Aspects of its Heritage', by Bernard O'Hara.

Published by kind permission of author