He is known for his accounts of Irish life through reference to the everyday and commonplace.
Patrick Kavanagh was born in rural Inniskeen, County Monaghan, in 1904, the fourth of the ten children of Bridget Quinn.
During this period he lodged in the Beechmount area in a house where he was related to the tenant through the tenant’s brother-in-law in Ballymackney, County Monaghan.
Before returning to Dublin in November 1949 he presented numerous manuscripts to the family, all of which are now believed to be in Spain.
In 1942 he published his long poem The Great Hunger, which describes the privations and hardship of the rural life he knew well.
Although it was rumoured at the time that all copies of Horizon, the literary magazine in which it was published, were seized by the Garda Síochána, Kavanagh denied that this had occurred, saying later that he was visited by two Gardaí at his home (probably in connection with an investigation of Horizon under the Special Powers Act).
His grandfather was a schoolteacher called “Keaveney”, which a local priest changed to “Kavanagh”.
The grandfather had to leave the area following a scandal and never taught in a national school again.
Russell at first rejected Kavanagh’s work but encouraged him to keep submitting, and he went on to publish verse by Kavanagh in 19.
This inspired the farmer to leave home and attempt to further his aspirations.