In the good old days when journalists met with poets and lawyers in Glasgow pubs, Freddy Anderson - wearing his donkey jacket and woollen cap like a working-class badge of honour - arrived in the Victoria Bar just as a post-High Court session was warming up. Introduced to a group of Edin-burgh advocates, Freddy had them quickly charmed, buying sheaves of poems and drams and lapping

up a slice of the real Glasgow. They were bowled over.

Three weeks later, at the close of the trial, the session resumed and this writer was accosted by one of the Crown team who said, wryly, that he had encountered Freddy again. This time he had been queuing, clutching an (pounds) 85 ticket, to see Pavarotti at the SECC, when a socialist demo protesting on behalf of rough sleepers swept up to target this glaring example of conspicuous consumption.

He had hailed Freddy, who called him a capitalist bastard and promptly hit him over the head with his placard.

Both men were the real Freddy Anderson - the tiny, bearded Irishman who loved to talk ideas, his-tory, poetry, and socialism over a dram and the angry republican socialist demonstrator who never lost his indignation at the inequal-ity of our divided society. He particularly detested mainstream Labour politicians, people he regarded as having sold out principle for power, and particularly those who accepted honours from the establishment. Those he lampooned mercilessly in his ''squibs'', most of which cannot be published because they are actionable.

As with other poets from the oral tradition (the Kailyard springs to mind) Freddy Anderson's poetry could sink into sentimentality. But at his best, when drawing on his roots in County Monaghan, his lyrics are studded with those heart-stopping insights which so characterise the best work of one of his own great heroes, the fellow-

Monaghan man, Patrick Kavanagh.

He never lost his love of Monaghan, the County of the Little Hills, and his village, Ballybay, is this week mourning the loss of a revered son. He wrote of his childhood in The Love Ballad:

Come gather round me town-bred folk

and listen to my tale

I was born in Monaghan of the little hills and vales

My mother kept a fruit shop, my father he ran wild

and I became in the village street an anxious, daring child.

Ballybay's historian and chronicler, Peadar Murnane, said of his lifelong friend that as a child

Freddy was free and easy; he loved the open air, the lakes, the gorse hills, and the rivers of Monaghan, but most of all he loved the old people with their tales and their local history. The flashing phrase, ''an anxious, daring child'' and Murnane's testament, trail clues to the later character of the man as does the deceptive simplicity of his Monaghan poem, The Blackberry Man.

At the national school in Ballybay, Freddy excelled at writing and composition. He and his brother, Patrick, were sent to the Cistercian secondary school at Roscrea in Tipperary where his writing again was his forte, so it was a major surprise when he went up to University College, Dublin, to study architecture. That, inevitably, did not last long and Freddy joined the RAF in 1942 at a time when some Irishmen signed up out of idealism, but more joined up to send money home to struggling families.

He was posted to a radar station at Crossmaglen in Armagh where off-duty time was spend in cross-border smuggling and, on demobilisation, the forces secured him a job as a museum attendant in the city which was to rival Monaghan in his affections, Glasgow.

The museum job lasted only days as Freddy popped out for cigarettes and a picture was stolen.

Thereafter followed a period during which Freddy Anderson successively became a lamplighter, a tram conductor, book barrow salesman, night porter, hoistman, labourer, telephone operator, garage clerk, dyker, and several other jobs which escaped his memory. One of the Behans, probably Dominic, reportedly said of him that he ''never rose from the gutter to the dizzy heights of extreme poverty, even''. There is, however, a mighty gap between physical poverty and poverty of the soul.

These experiences informed his drift towards theatre, particuarly agitprop. In 1947 he joined Glasgow Unity Theatre, effectively launching a career which saw him become a valuable player in Glasgow's left-wing artistic life. He later recalled that an encounter in Sauchiehall Street when he introduced himself to Roddy McMillan set everything in train.

McMillan took the young Irishman into Craig's Restaurant and bought him a cup of tea and

Freddy Anderson found his spiritual home at the Unity Centre. One of the Unity's two groups, Freddy could never remember which, produced his first play, called Thirty Three Years, in the late 1940s.

His plays were performed over the years by various community groups, including a pantomime based on Glasgow's coat of arms and called Wee Willie Winkie, the dramatic eighteenth century chronicle, The Calton Weavers, and the tour de force on the life of John McLean, Krassivy.

This latter work won for its author an Edinburgh Festival Fringe First, playing to packed houses in both Edinburgh and Glasgow during the McLean centenary celebrations in 1979. His literary work in the Easterhouse community was also recognised by an Irish Post award.

One production, The Ghost of Provanhall, a razor-sharp political satire which included Teddy Taylor swinging a birch in a mock duel with a famous Glasgow civic figure wielding an Arabian sword, attracted a censorship demand when excerpts were shown on TV.

Late in life he finally produced the book which drew together all his attributes. Oiney Hoy, a tale of the wanderings of a ''green fool'', toys with Ireland's myths, stereotypes, pretensions, and foibles, a gentle but effective satire which also translated with great success on to the Edinburgh Fringe stage.

Towards the end of his life,

Freddy had been preparing the further adventures of Oiney and was working on an autobiography. But the illness with which he struggled for more than 20 years caught up with him in a Glasgow nursing home earlier this week, two years after he lost his wife and companion, Isobel. He leaves three children, Paul, Dermott, and Isobel, but his passing dims the Glasgow scene and will be mourned more widely by friends from every walk of life.

Freddy Anderson, poet, playwright, author; born September 11, 1922, died December 10, 2001.