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Carolan was born near Nobber, County Meath, and moved with his family, probably when he was a teenager, to Ballyfarnan, County Roscommon, where his father took a job with the MacDermott Roe family. Mrs. MacDermott Roe gave him an education, and he showed talent in poetry. After being blinded by smallpox, perhaps at the age of eighteen, Carolan was taught the harp for three years. Then, being given a horse and a…

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