12 February 2009: Arts Council expresses its regret on the passing of playwright Hugh Leonard

The Arts Council has expressed its regret at the passing on Thursday, February 12, of playwright, author and columnist Jack Keyes Byrne, known widely to the public as Hugh Leonard.

Speaking today, Mary Cloake, Director of the Arts Council said, "The Council is deeply saddened at the passing of Hugh Leonard, a true giant of Irish theatre, who wrote some of the most popular and enduring plays of the 20th century. The success of Da on Broadway and around the world is testimony to Leonard’s stature as a world dramatist. Beyond theatre, Hugh was a wonderfully talented writer in other media who enjoyed deserved popularity with Irish readers"

Head of Theatre, David Parnell added, ‘It is a source of great sadness to hear this news. Jack was known throughout the theatre community for his warmth, humour and sharp intelligence.  Like Donal McCann and Maureen Potter before him, who performed in Joe Dowling’s memorable production of Da in the 1990s, he will be missed by a great many of his theatre colleagues."

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Yelemba dance troupe from the Ivory Coast - Clonmel Junction Festival.

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