Tributes paid to the late Seamus Deane who has died aged 81

Tributes have been paid to the late Derry author Seamus Deane who has sadly died aged 81.

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 1:08 pm
The late Seamus Deane who has passed away aged 81.
The late Seamus Deane who has passed away aged 81.

The estate of the late Seamus Heaney extended condolences to the Derry writer's friends and family.

"We are incredibly saddened to hear of the death of the poet, critic and academic Seamus Deane He was one of Seamus Heaney's oldest friends, from their school days at St. Columb's College in Derry, through the rest of their lives. Rest in peace."

Mr. Deane was perhaps best known as the author of the Booker nominated novel 'Reading in the Dark' which was based on his own experience of growing up in Derry.

The academic edited the 'Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing' and was one of the founders of the iconic Derry theatre company Field Day.

Field Day, set up by Mr. Deane along side the late Brian Friel and Stephen Rea in Derry in 1980, continues today as an intellectual copyright. The company tweeted, 'Seamus Deane 1940-2021 One of the original members of Field Day, Seamus Deane, died after a short illness in Dublin on May 12, 2021. Rest in Peace'.

SDLP MP Colum Eastwood said: "I am very sorry to learn of the death of Seamus Deane. Seamus was an inspirational son of Derry who was well respected around the world for his literary works, critical writings and poetry. He will be revered among the ranks of Heaney and Friel. My thoughts are with his family."

The columnist Fintan O'Toole said: "The death of Seamus Deane is a terrible loss. Wilde had an essay called The Critic as Artist and there were very few figures who so beautifully combined critical brilliance with imaginative and linguistic power."

Four Courts Press tweeted: "Seamus Deane, a brilliant writer, and always a thorough gentleman to deal with. His words will live on for generations to come. RIP."

Seamus Deane, with his friend Seamus Heaney, being served refreshments by young ladies attired in medieval dress at a supper dance in the Embassy Ballroom as part of Derry Civic Week. The ladies are, from left, Helen Mahon, Deirdre Ferry, Belinda Knox, Joy Beedham and Rose Mullan. Taken in 1975.
Seamus Deane with Stephen Rea and the then Mayor Colum Eastwood in 2010.
Seamus Deane with St Columb's College past president Father Eamon McDevitt and Risteard MacGabhann during the presentation of the St Columb's College Past Pupil's Union Alumnus Illustrissimus award in 2010.