Seamus Deane, leading Irish writer and critic, has died aged 81

Derry author best known for Reading in the Dark and Field Day Anthology of Irish Literature

Seamus Deane at Cúirt in Galway in April 1999. Photograph: Joe St Leger

Seamus Deane at Cúirt in Galway in April 1999. Photograph: Joe St Leger

Seamus Deane, for the past 50 years one of Ireland’s foremost writers and critics, best-known for his award-winning autobiographical novel Reading in the Dark and the landmark Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, died last night in Beaumont Hospital after a short illness. He was 81.

Arts Council chair Prof Kevin Rafter said: “A gifted writer and a profound intellect, Seamus Deane was a master of every writing form. As a critic, an editor, a poet and a novelist, Deane brought concentrated rigour and empathy to his work. An inspiring teacher and continual advocate for Irish writing, Seamus Deane leaves behind a powerful literary and cultural legacy."

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