President Higgins leads tributes to playwright Tom MacIntyre

Playwright Tom MacIntyre passed away after a long illness.

President Michael D Higgins led the tributes to the playwright and poet Tom MacIntyre who died following a long illness.

President Higgins said in a statement: “The death of Tom MacIntyre, playwright, poet and author is such a very great a loss to the world of letters and performance.

“A member of Aosdána for decades, his work was characterised by originality, courage and in creative terms, the pushing of the boundaries for actors, stage and audience.  In this he will be missed by his great collaborator in so much of his work – Tom Hickey.

“Tom McIntyre’s The Great Hunger, his acclaimed collaboration with Patrick Mason and Tom Hickey in the eighties, was one wonderful achievement in a body of fine work. Working bilingually his Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire showed his instinct to distil the essence of tragic loss, his bilingual ability being a real advantage.

“His poetry and short stories reflected so their existentialist provocations, and his loyalty to the intimacies of his Cavan, and particularly its people, alive and dead.

“The soliloquy The Gallant John Joe performed by Tom Hickey was the last of his performances that Sabina and I had had the privilege to attend.  Tom McIntyre’s work received accolades, not only at home but abroad, where the experimental and original themes and settings attracted directors young and old.  To have him as a friend was a special gift.

“To his wife Celine, and his children Deirdre, Darragh, Donal, Desmond and Tadhg, Sabina and I express our deepest condolences, and of course, to his great collaborator Tom Hickey who will miss him in such a special way.

“The work endures and will continue to inspire.”

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