Thomas Moore was born on 28th May in 1779 in Dublin. He was the eldest as well as being the only son to Catholic parents. His father was a prosperous grocer, his mother an intelligent, creative woman that fostered and encouraged his artistic ability. Together they gave Thomas a confidence and a good education at private schools in England. At that time Catholics were denied equal rights, with no vote and certainly were not allowed to attend the best schools in Ireland. However, Thomas' talent was recognised early with the publication of his first poem in a Dublin newspaper at the age of 14. By 1794 Catholics had obtained more rights and this meant that Thomas was able to attend the reputable Trinity College Dublin where his parents wanted him to study to become a lawyer. Although his Catholicism meant he was denied a scholarship, he was clearly ahead of his peers at University and developed a reputation not only in poetry and the performing arts but for being a champion of freedom for all in Ireland. Moore was an important figure in his lifetime and in British Romanticism which resulted in a close friendship with Byron of whom he later wrote a biography of. Thomas was a prolific writer of verse with his Irish Melodies enjoying huge popularity and his poem “Lalla Rookh” which you can read here, being credited as the most translated poem of its time. He is to Ireland what Burns is to Scotland and still now his songs are sung up and down the country. Thomas Moore died 25th February 1852 and is commemorated in several places including statues at Trinity College Dublin and Central Park, New York.