• Michael Mullins
  • Michael "The Bard" Mullin
  • "The Bard of Foremass"
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    This website has been developed to celebrate the memory and to share a collection of the poetic verses of the Tyrone  poet Michael Mullin, also known as Michael “The Bard” Mullin. He was known locally as ‘The Bard of Foremass’. Born and raised in the townland of Foremass Lower, Sixmilecross, County Tyrone, Michael’s love of  nature, the land and its people and his deep faith  is reflected in all his poetry.


    When his grandson Patrick Mullin died and being of a computerised mind he bequeathed that this website be set up to publish his grandfather’s poems. It has taken some time and many false starts but we the family have now organised a small amount of his poems here.

    We hope you get the same enjoyment from his poetic verses as we do.

    Michael Mullin was born on the 29th of January 1886 to parents Terence and Margaret Mullin née Conroy. He was reared on their small farm in the townland of Foremass Lower. As he grew up and lived in his beloved Foremass he always saw God’s handiwork in the natural beauty of the countryside and from this he drew inspiration for a lot of his writing.

    He lived through turbulent times at the beginning of the twentieth century and in his early years he read and contributed to papers including The Nation, The Weekly Freeman, The Packet and other magazines of a nationalist and republican point of view. He also wrote for the Ulster Herald and there was a long running poetic debate in the Poets Corner in the Herald about whether young ladies should wear cloaks or shawls and it was at this time that he was first called The Bard of Foremass by fellow poet Michael Conroy from Barnesone. He contributed to the Ulster Herald from his late teens to well into his old age.

    His poems were also published in The Cork Examiner, The Independent and religious magazines, The Far East and African Missions

    He married Mary Jane Mullin of nearby Foremass Upper townland in 1919 and reared their family in Foremass. His poetry generated much needed supplemental income for his young family. As a prolific poet Michael Mullin wrote on a wide range of subjects but his favourite themes were Nature, God, Love, Family and Farming. His catalogue of poetry stretches to hundreds of published poems with further work that remains unpublished.

    He died on St. Brigid’s Eve in 1978 two days after his 92nd birthday.

    He is buried just inside the gates and opposite the front door of

    St.Mary’s Chapel, Dunmoyle, in the parish of Errigal Ciaran, Co. Tyrone.

    Poem of the Month:
    The key of happiness

    Long years I sought, without success
    The key to the house of happiness.
    I thought this key should be the same
    As keys which open doors of fame
    And wealth and power. I tried each but
    The door of happiness stayed shut.

    As years rolled by I tried again
    With other keys; but tried in vain.
    At last I found the only key
    Which worked.  It is called charity.
    And this key opens wide the door
    Of happiness, now and evermore.

    Foremass Lower, Sixmilecross, Co. Tyrone.

    Charity – love

    Poem of the Month:
    St. Brigid’s Day

    Brids in the trees! sweet carols sing;
    Winds in the woods! more softly play;
    Here comes the herald of the spring –
    St. Brigids Day.

    From heaven’s blue window panes, winds! Seep
    Cloud curtains, May the sun’s smile turn
    Away all tears from eyes that weep,
    And hearts that mourn.

    Skylarks! You sunny stairways climb,
    Broadcasting hymns to God above.
    Say “Brigid’s Day is Eireann’s time
    Of joy and love”.

    May Brigid’s Cross above each door
    Of every Irish home be set;
    And may all love her more and more,.
    And ne’eer forget.