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Poet Derek’s words gave solace to people when they needed it most

October 15th, 2020 5:10 PM

By Southern Star Team

The late poet Derek Mahon resided in Kinsale. (Photo: John Allen)

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THE death of one of Ireland’s greatest poets, Kinsale-based Derek Mahon, has sparked an outpouring of grief.

The Arts Council has expressed its deep regret at the passing of the Belfast born poet who died aged 78 after a short illness.

Prof Kevin Rafter, chair of the Arts Council said: ‘Derek Mahon was a literary giant, talented beyond measure…his voice was one that utterly connected, and continues to connect, to people across Ireland and across the world.

‘No one will forget the decision of RTÉ News, in late March, to invoke Derek’s Everything Is Going to Be All Right at the end of a devastating day in the pandemic; his words gave solace and meaning to people throughout the country when it was most needed. We will need them still.’   

His latest collection,  Against the Clock was awarded the Poetry Now award earlier this year and he was on the cusp of publishing a new collection, Washing Up, later this month. President Michael D Higgins also paid tribute to the poet and said: ‘I will miss those short cryptic but hopeful messages I got from him from Kinsale.’

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