Speaking today, Sheila Pratschke, Chair of the Arts Council said, “Dermot Healy was a gifted writer of prose, drama and poetry. He demonstrated a commitment to literature in all of its forms, and his work was bravely and boldly original. From his very beginning as an editor with The Drumlin, the writer gave voice to places and people often dark or forgotten. He proved himself, time and again, to be a master of dialogue and voice, his writing always richly textured and inventive. Dermot Healy has already inspired and encouraged countless poets, short story writers, novelists, memoirists and playwrights and his influence will continue to be felt long after his death.”
Dermot was born in Finea, Co. Westmeath in 1947. His novels included Fighting with Shadows (1984), A Goat's Song (1994), Sudden Times (1999), and Long Time No See, (2012); his short stories were collected as Banished Misfortune (1982). His autobiography was The Bend for Home (1996), and his plays include Here and There and Going to America (1985), The Long Swim (1988), On Broken Wings(1992), Last Nights of Fun (1994), Boxes (1998), Mister Staines (1999),Metagama (2005) A night at the Disco (2006) and Where are We? (2012). His play, Women to the Left, Men to the Right, is distilled from the oral tradition of older generations living in several border counties; it appeared at the Abbey Theatre in 2001 and was broadcast on RTÉ radio in 2002. He also wrote the screenplay for Our Boys, a film by Cathal Black. His poetry collections includedThe Ballyconnel Colours (1993), What the Hammer (1998) The Reed Bed (2001) and A Fool's Errand (2011). Other work includes After the Off, a photographic book, and (1999). He lived in Co. Sligo, where he founded and has edited the literary journals The Drumlin and Force 10.
Ms Pratschke added: "Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this time."
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