In his poetry, Matt Duggan draws his strength from his home place, the mountains and the loughs. He celebrates the people who lived and survived in that beautiful but harsh terrain, the people who ‘lived, unhonoured and unsung, on many a mountain face.’
The poetry of Derrylin post man Matt Duggan (1914-1979) appeared in various journals and newspapers during his lifetime and a small section was published in Belfast in a booklet called From Mountain to Lough.
Although it is almost 30 years since his death, some of Matt Duggan’s best poems have remained in circulation and are still appreciated and enjoyed in south Fermanagh where he too is fondly remembered. His notebooks and published works have been carefully preserved by his family and now his son Gerry has gathered all the poems together for publication in this present volume. As well as his poetry, Matt Duggan has also left a substantial number of short stories and it is hoped that these will be republished at some future date.
Matt Duggan was educated both by school and by life. He lived through turbulent times. He survived the horrors of the Second World War and the trials of serious illness. He knew the pain of exile, homesickness and hardship but also the joy of returning to his own place and people. In his last years the deep shadow of the Troubles fell across the land that he loved. In his poetry he struggles to understand the dark deeds and the politicians, and he finds solace in humanity and in taking the long view of history in which he finds that the people had lived through hardship before, and survived. But little did he know how long this trouble would last.