The Arts Council has expressed its regret at the death of playwright and Saoi of Aosdána Tom Murphy.
Speaking today, Sheila Pratschke, Chair of the Arts Council said, "The Council is deeply saddened at the passing of Tom Murphy, a true giant of Irish theatre, who wrote some of the most popular and lasting plays of the 20th century. His enduring body of work was part of the contemporary Irish canon and, while a latent violence often propelled the plot and caused his audiences to wince at the blow, Murphy’s craft has always been in the power and beauty of his lucid language. It exposed the glory and folly of humanity, underscored by an inevitable, and merciful, ceding to a bruised affirmation of a joy for life.
His work will continue to illuminate audiences long after his death, but his intelligence, wit and humour will be sorely missed by his colleagues and all those who had the good fortune to know and work with him.”
He is survived by his long-term companion and wife, actress, Jane Brennan.
Born in Tuam, Co. Galway, in 1935, Tom Murphy was the youngest of 10 siblings, all who emigrated to Britain. He remained in Tuam and initially worked as a metalworker and a teacher before writing full-time. A selection of his plays - many of which were produced at the Abbey Theatre and Druid Theatre Company - included A Whistle in the Dark (1961), Famine (1968), A Crucial Week in the Life of a Grocer's Assistant (1969), The Morning After Optimism (1971), The Sanctuary Lamp (1976), The Gigli Concert (1983), Bailegangaire (1985), Conversations on a Homecoming (1985), A Thief of Christmas (1985), The Patriot Game (1991), Too Late for Logic (1989), The Wake (1998) and The House (2000), The Drunkard (2003), The Cherry Orchard (2004) and Alice Trilogy (2005) and The reluctant Tyrant (2009) Brigit (2014). A novel, The Seduction of Morality appeared in 2004. He was a member of the Irish Academy of Letters and received numerous awards and honorary doctorates including from Trinity College Dublin and NUI Galway and the Ulysses Medal, the highest honour, from University College Dublin.
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