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Thomas 'Tom' Guerin
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    Born in Ireland
    Resided in Skibbereen, Cork County; later the West Cork region
    Fell ill during Ireland's Great Famine (1845-52)
    Was (nearly) buried alive in a mass grave at Abbeystrewry near Skibbereen (1848)
    Reportedly 'yelped,' prompting him to be pulled out in time before the closure of the grave
    Attained local celebrity in the decades following as 'the boy who raised from the dead' and 'the boy who was buried alive'
    Details about his 'burial' incident are extremely sketchy.
    Some reports say he was buried for two days before the mistake was discovered, possibly when more bodies were being dumped into the same pit.
    The more likely story is that the gravedigger accidentally struck his legs with a spade, causing him to groan.
    He scraped a living as a beggar and traded on his macabre experience for decades.
    He later dabbled in poetry writing, and would later promote his work by saying: 'I’m the poet, I’m the genius.'
    The majority of information about his situation can be traced to a single article in a periodical known as 'The Irish Calling' (leading some to believe the account may be entirely fictional).
    It is believed that he lost most of his family during the Irish Famine.
    He survived being nearly 'buried alive,' but was crippled for the rest of his life because his legs were broken during the ordeal.
    The cause of the injuries were not known, but it is believed he was injured by the blows of a gravedigger’s spade (although others claim his family broke his legs to fit him into the coffin).
    He was known for having a cheerful, outgoing disposition with a lively disposition, despite the terrible trauma he experienced at an early age.
    While he spent his summers begging for money and odd jobs, he spent his winters in the county's local poor-house.
    When he applied for a pair of boots, he did so with a poem reading: 'I rose from the dead in the year ’48,/When a grave at the Abbey had near been my fate,/Since then for subsistence I have done all my best/Though one shoe points eastwards and the other points west...'
    In later years, his story came to symbolize both the commonality of death and the complete loss of human dignity that came with the Irish Famine (extending to even to the infant population).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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