On recently learning of the death of the poet Niall McDevitt

May 3, 2023 - 2 minute read

On the whole, it’s been good being out of the loop with regard to social media and the poetry scene. That said, the occasional catch up foray onto facebook can sometimes reveal that someone you knew and admired had passed away and that you had also missed the funeral and all those attendant chances to celebrate their life with others.

This is how I learned of the death of one of my poetic namesakes, Niall McDevitt. I realised on hearing this how much I had been thinking about him recently, with some of his songs playing in my head as I trudged about South London. He was a brilliant individual, bursting with talent and intelligence. He could also be a massive pain in the arse, but a lot of that came with all the things that made him such an unforgettable person. I really thought he was an excellent poet too. I booked him a fair few times for my gigs when I used to do that kind of thing.

On first hearing of his death, I felt a bit aggrieved that nobody had told me. But then I realised how much I have withdrawn from many of the people I know and retreated into my cosy, domestic shell. I can totally understand why nobody really thought of telling me. From my point of view, my life still feels like a big deal but I can understand why I might have dropped away from people’s mental inventories over the past few years.

Niall, I’ll be raising a glass to your memory soon. I’m so sorry that your life was cut short by a stupid illness that we still haven’t figured out how to beat. I’ll raise a glass in your memory soon and will speak your name in the same breath as I speak the names of Blake, Yeats and Joyce. Sleep well. Sláinte!