The Arts Council has expressed its regret at the passing of writer and Aosdana member Sydney Bernard Smith. Mr. Smith died on Saturday 11 October.
Speaking about the loss, Mary Cloake, Director of the Arts Council said, "We are saddened at the passing of Sydney Bernard Smith, who was an innovative and prolific writer, as well as a broadcaster, actor and director. He was a man of great intellect and a cherished member of Aosdána. He was very generous with his time, being a frequent visitor to schools during the early days of the Arts Council’s Writers-in-Schools scheme. His death is a great loss to Irish art and our thoughts are with his family"
Sydney was born in Glasgow in 1936 and raised in Portstewart, Co. Derry, he studied at Oxford University, and lived for 25 years west of the Shannon, mainly in Inishbofin. He taught for 15 years in Ireland, Spain, Germany and the US.
His work has been broadcast on RTÉ, BBC and Channel 4 (UK), and staged in Ireland, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and in the US.
His poetry collections include Girl With Violin (The Dolmen Press [Poetry Ireland Editions 3], Dublin 1968); Priorities (Raven Arts Press, Dublin 1979); Sensualities (Raven, 1981); Scurrilities (Raven 1981), and New and Selected Poems (Raven, 1984).
His plays include Sherca (1976, published Newark, Del, Proscenium Press, 1979); Don Bosco, Grainne and the Dole (1977); The Impertinence of being Frank (1978); The Illaunapsppie Triangle (1978); Houseparty (1979); Swim Away Babies (1984); On Course for Brazil (1985); How to Roast a Strasbourg Goose ( Dublin Theatre Festival, 1985); Up for Bloomsday (1985); The 2nd Grand Confabulation of Drum Ceat (Dublin Theatre Festival,Andrews Lane Theatre, 1989); Reason not the Need (1992); and The Shaming of the True (1995).
He has published one novel, Flannery (Dublin, Odell & Adair, 1991). A second, The Book of Shannow, has been mostly published in literary magazines.
We offer our sympathy to his family and friends.