Poetry: Finest praise from one Dubliner to another
Published 18/10/2015 | 02:30
Yesterday was the birthday of the greatest talker theEnglish language has known. He was also one of its greatest playwrights.
The English put him in jail for two years because he was an active homosexual; nothing more. But it was enough to kill the Irishman who died three years later.
Being Irish, I think, was a factor when it came to Oscar. His mother was a revolutionary who supported the Fenians.
Oscar was a secret Catholic. He managed, when he was dying, to get a priest to give him the last sacrament.
This is no vague rumour. I spoke to Fr Cuthbert, who was present when Oscar breathed his last.
More power to ourselves that we are proud of him. I think the best thing written about Oscar was by our own Brendan Behan.
He has written it in Irish so I have produced a translation which I hope catches the spirit of another Dubliner's praise for Oscar Wilde.