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Statement by President Michael D. Higgins on the death of Eileen Battersby

Date: Mon 24th Dec, 2018 | 10:19

“News of the death of Eileen Battersby, literary critic, award winning journalist, novelist, animal lover and enthusiast for natural beauty, will have been heard with both shock and enormous sadness by those familiar with her work.

They will have been impressed over the years by the sheer breadth of her interests, her insatiable curiosity for what was being produced in writing in both English and lesser known languages, which she reviewed in translation.

Among all those, including Sabina and I, who have read her unique pieces over the years, there will be a feeling that criticism of fiction in particular has suffered a great loss. Indeed, to all those in the world of books, there will be a sense that a critic relied upon by so many readers, and respected by writers, has been taken from us.

All of us owe her a debt of gratitude for her unstinting efforts to bring the best writers from around the world to our attention, her unflinching standards, and for the enthusiasm with which she brought her celebration of all aspects of the arts to so many different audiences.

Sabina and I send our deepest condolences to her daughter Nadia, and the members of her family”.