O'Hussey, Eochaidh (DNB00)

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O'HUSSEY, EOCHAIDH (fl. 1630), Irish poet, in Irish Ua hEodhasa, belonged to a northern family of hereditary poets and historians, of which the earliest famous member was Aenghus, who died in 1360. Another Aenghus died in 1480, and in 1518 Ciothruadh, son of Athairne O'Hussey, whose poem, 'Buime na bhfileadh fuil Ruarcach' ('Nurse of the poets, the blood of the O'Rourkes'), is still extant. Soon after his time the family became chief poets to Maguire of Fermanagh. Eochaidh began to write when very young (in 1593), and his earliest poem is on the escape of Aedh ruadh O'Donnell from Dublin Castle in 1592. It contains 228 verses. He wrote four poems, of 228 verses in all, on Cuchonacht Maguire, lord of Fermanagh, and seven poems on his son, Hugh Maguire [q. v.] He travelled and, like all the poets, wrote panegyrics on his hosts. Of this kind are his poems, of two hundred verses, on Tadhg O'Rourke of Breifne; on Eoghan óg MacSweeny of Donegal; on Feidhlimidh O'Beirne, and on Richard de Burgo Mac William of Connaught. He wrote a poetic address of 152 verses to Hugh O'Neill, the great earl of Tyrone [q. v.], and one of forty-four verses to Rory O'Donnell, earl of Tyrconnel [q. v.] He also wrote numerous poems on general subjects, such as `A dhuine na heasláinte' (`O man of ill-health !'), in praise of temperance, and an address to the Deity. There are copies of his poems in the library of the Royal Irish Academy.

[Transactions of Iberno-Celtic Society, Dublin, 1820; Annala Rioghachta Eireann, ed. O'Donovan, Dublin, 1851.]

N. M.