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Statement by President Michael D. Higgins on the death of Padraic Fiacc

Date: Tue 22nd Jan, 2019 | 12:36

"It is with great sadness that I have heard of the passing of Padraic Fiacc (Patrick Joseph O’Connor), acclaimed poet with a unique perspective and courageous realism.  Padraic Fiacc was an esteemed member of Áosdana.

Having experienced tragedy and loss, Padraic Fiacc was never afraid to reflect dark, deeply emotive and disturbing elements in his verse. 

He courageously raised crucial questions about the relationship between violence, poetry and language. His portrayal of the Troubles was stark and revealed an honesty like no other.  It was a unique contribution at critical cost.  His empathy for the frightened and maimed individuals on either side of the divide shone through his work.

I had the privilege of visiting him last week and reading one of his poems to him, a poem dedicated to his friend Gerald Dawe.  Padraic Fiacc leaves a legacy of particular intensity.

Sabina and I express our deepest sympathy to his family, friends and colleagues. He will be fondly missed by all of us who had the privilege of knowing him.”