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John Fitzgerald, the Bard of the Lee

2010 marked the centenary of the death of
Mr. John Fitzgerald, also known as “The Bard of the Lee“.

Today he is perhaps best known as the writer of the song “The Green Hills of Cork“, or, as it is more popularly known, “Beautiful City”.

He was a founder member of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society and contributed many articles to its journal.

He was born in Hanover Street in 1825 and was a cabinet maker and woodcarver by trade.

However, Mr. Fitzgerald was also known as a writer, poet, and antiquarian.



Known as ‘the bard of the Lee’, John Fitzgerald was an antiquarian and a wood-carver who taught at the Crawford School of Art.

Born in Hanover Street, Cork, he studied at Fr. Matthew’s School and the North Monastery School, Cork.
Involved in the organising of the Dublin Exhibition in 1853, he later won first prize for his carved shields at the Cork Industrial Exhibition of 1883.
In 1898 he published a commemorative book on the 1798 rebellion.
His topographical drawings of houses and bridges in Cork are of considerable historical interest.