James Orr (1770 - 1816)

James Orr (1770-1816) was a poet from Ballycarry, County Antrim nicknamed “The Bard of Ballycarry.” One of a generation of poets known as the Weaver Poets, due to them often being craftsmen in the thriving linen industry in Ulster, Orr was a United Irishman and took part in the 1798 rebellion, fighting at the Battle of Antrim. He lived in exile for a short time in the United States, before returning to Ireland under the terms of an amnesty. He would die at the age of 46 in 1816 in his native Ballycarry, R. R. Madden writes that Orr in his later years had struggled with alcoholism. Orr wrote in both English and in the braid Scots dialect of the north-east, that was particularly common in the rural hinterlands of Antrim and Down. He is regarded as one of Ulster’s finest poets, particularly of the Ulster Scots tradition.


Donegore Hill