Inniskeen, County Monaghan

Inniskeen (Inis Caoin, “pleasant river-meadow”) , east of Carrickmacross , is the birthplace of Patrick Kavanagh the Irish poet.

There’s a small plaque bearing some of his verse in the village , and the house he lived in is well signposted – but you cannot go inside. Kavanagh is buried in the graveyard of St Mary’s Church , which is also home to the Patrick Kavanagh Rural and Literary Resource Centre , which has a wealth of Kavanagh related memorabilia and displays of his work , including a series of a dozen specially commissioned paintings based upon his epic poem The Great Hunger. The centre also runs occasional writers’ weekends. If you need refreshments there is the aptly named Poet’s Rest coffee shop next door.

Inniskeen is the starting point for the first phase of the Monaghan Way, a waymarked walking trail which will run from here to Glaslough and eventually circumnavigate the entire country. Its a nice little hidden gem on any Ireland tours.