Belfast film-maker, broadcaster and singer David Hammond, who was one of the founder members of the Field Day Theatre Company, has died.
Mr Hammond died in Belfast yesterday with his family at his side. He was 79 and had been ill for some time.
Seamus Heaney paid tribute to Mr Hammond, his friend of 45 years.
“He was a great Ulsterman and a great Irishman, a man of rare energy, truly original, a man who was part of a whole generation of original spirits,” he said.
Mr Heaney added: “He was one of the transformers in Irish life, as an artist in his contribution as a singer and performer, but also in his contribution as a broadcaster and educator and mentor. He added to the quality of life.”
Mr Hammond had a wide knowledge of the arts. He trained as a teacher working in primary and secondary schools before moving to BBC Northern Ireland, where he was able to develop his skills in film-making and broadcasting.
In 1986 he formed Flying Fox Films, producing a large body of work.
Jeremy Isaccs, a former head of Channel 4, previously described Mr Hammond as a “poet of film”.
Fellow Field Day member Tom Kilroy said Mr Hammond “was a joy to be with and to work with, a wonderful personality and an extremely talented man”.
Mr Hammond is survived by his wife Eileen and children Catherine, Fiona, Conor and Mary Anne.