J G Quilty - Sligo Poets

Go to content

Main menu:

J G Quilty

John George Quilty appeared in the 1911 Census as a visitor to the house of Phelim, Mary and Margaret Clancy in Doonfore, Lissadill West, County Sligo. Aged 41, he had been born in Sligo and gave his occupation as a book-keeper and clerk. He was a Catholic and was unmarried.

In the 1901 Census the same man was living in Drumcliff North, Carney, County
Sligo. He gave Sligo Town as his birthplace and shop-keeper (publican), as his occupation. He could speak Irish and English. His brother, Ambrose, was the only other person in the house that evening and his occupation was given as silver miner (home on visit).

J G Quilty seems to have prominent in the Nationalist politics of north Sligo. He was secretary of Drumcliff branch of the United Irish League in the early 1900s and was a elected Nationalist member of Sligo County Council. He was a prominent supporter of P A McHugh, MP and Sligo Champion editor, and Bernard McTernan.

He gave evidence to the
Eleventh Report of the Royal Commission appointed to inquire into Congestion in Ireland 1908. He gave evidence regarding the fishing industry, the operation of creameries, landlordism and emigration in north Sligo.

Quilty is menationed in Political Priests and Irish Ruin, Paraguay on Shannon by
Frank Hugh O'Donnell (1908) an amusing but serious critique of unethical practices by the Catholic clergy in local politics, education, and the Congested Districts Board. Quilty is quoted, as a delegate of the United Irish League Executive in North Sligo, as saying "The tenants of the Logan estate have already sent twenty-eight children abroad, principally to the United States. They will assist by sending over a portion of their earnings. The more children in America the better."

Quilty had four poems published in the Sligo Times in 1911.

His poetry sometimes deals with local folklore but in 1915 he wrote three poems about the war which are pro-recruiting. His frequent efforts to replicate by phonetic spelling what he sees as rural idioms and accents sometimes give a "Stage Irish" feeling to his poems.

Back to content | Back to main menu