Geoghegan, Arthur Gerald (1810–89), poet, was born 1 June 1810 in Dublin, son of James Geoghegan and his wife Elizabeth (née Richardson). He joined the civil service in 1830, serving as an exciseman in various towns in Ireland, including Cork city, Ennis, Co. Clare, and Derry city, and also Hull in England. In 1854 he became surveying general examiner, and in 1857 collector of inland revenue. He composed both short and long euphonious poems. Many amounted to history from a nationalist standpoint in verse; they were published anonymously, but accompanied by one of his symbols: three asterisks or a hand. His short poems appeared in the Irish Penny Journal, the Dublin University Magazine, the Irish Monthly, in the first and later series of the Nation, and many other magazines. ‘The monks of Kilcrea, a ballad poem’ was first published in parts under the title ‘Scraps of Irish history’ in the Dublin Journal of Temperance, Science and Literature. This long narrative poem was published in toto, but still anonymously, in Dublin (1853). It was translated into French by the Chevalier de Chatelain as Les moines de Kilcré (1858), and also went into another edition in English, The monks of Kilcrea, and other ballads and poems (1861). His poetry though widely known in his own time, subsequently faded from view, although some poems, such as ‘After Aughrim’, were reprinted in twentieth-century anthologies, such as The Penguin book of Irish verse (1970) edited by Brendan Kennelly.
Geoghegan was also an enthusiastic antiquary with wide-ranging interests. He was an early member of the Kilkenny and South East of Ireland Archaeological Society and a contributor of notes and articles to its journal (e.g., ‘A notice of the early settlement of Londonderry by the English, etc.’ (1864)). His collection of Irish antiquities was once exhibited in London, where he became collector of revenue in Somerset House in 1869, remaining in London after his retirement in 1877. In the 1880s he contemplated having a complete collection of his poetry published. However, before this could be accomplished, he died 29 November 1889 at 27 Addison Road West, Kensington. He is buried in Kensal Green cemetery, London. He married Anne Wilson in 1847; they had at least three sons and four daughters. His son Gerald, a member of both the Irish and English bars, became a distinguished criminal lawyer in London, while his daughter Mary (born in Ennis) wrote and published poetry (e.g., in the Cornhill Magazine) from 1886.