President pays tribute to poet O'Driscoll

President Michael D Higgins has paid tribute to contemporary poet Dennis O’Driscoll who died yesterday.

The president said O’Driscoll was held in the highest regard not only by all those associated with Irish and European poetry but also by the wider Irish public, who are acquainted with his work as a poet and his generosity as a person.

Born in Thurles, Co Tipperary, in 1954, he was the author of nine books of poetry, three chapbooks and a collection of essays and reviews.

He also edited and compiled contemporary quotations about poets and poetry, and published a book of his interviews with fellow poet Seamus Heaney.

Mr Higgins said O’Driscoll combined the delivery of poetry of the deepest insights and response to contemporary life with decades of committed public service to the state.

“In addition to his nine highly regarded volumes of poetry, Dennis O’Driscoll was the author of a number of works of valuable literary criticism, including his seminal Stepping Stones based on his interviews with Seamus Heaney on his life and work,” said Mr Higgins.

“Denis O’Driscoll’s own work was recognised as of such quality that it merited inclusion in a number of the major poetry anthologies.

“I extend my sincere condolences to his family and many friends in the wider Irish public on their great loss.”

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