How would you characterize Thomas Moore's poetry? What makes it particularly Irish?
Irish writing, particularly poetry and song, has variously been described as emotional, lyrical full of natural beauty, sentimental or downright depressing! Enjoyment of literature is subjective, so I will put forward an opinion from one who is familiar with examples from each of the above types. Thomas Moore is akin to Robert Burns in that they both enjoyed collecting and recording both poetry and song - in Gaelic countries they call them "airs." Gaelic pieces, including Moore's, often have a wistful haunted quality about them as if they arise from a wellspring of deep sorrow, not just needless sentimental gushing. Both the Scots and the Irish suffered from "generational trauma" from oppressive landlords, evictions and starvation, not to mention the destroying of their native language and culture. So even in a beautiful poem/song like "Endearing Young Charms" there is a rhythm of a river of sorrows as an undercurrent.
What makes Thomas Moore one of the utmost "Irish Bards" is his intense feeling of nationalism which made him extremely popular among his peers during his times. He also took it upon himself to recreate the predominantly British field of Romanticism. He decided to include Irish folklore, mythology, provincialisms and customs to the already bucolic and pastoral Romantic poetry and literature as a venue to infiltrate Ireland into the psyche of British literature.
He wrote the lyrics to Minstrel Boy which is a symbol of patriotismin the UK, and he intertwined poestry and song with his very own *you guessed it* Songs of Ireland.