Belfast Telegraph

Acclaimed writer Padraic Fiacc is laid to rest

Friends and family pay their respects to poet Padraic Fiacc at St Malachy's Church in Belfast
Friends and family pay their respects to poet Padraic Fiacc at St Malachy's Church in Belfast
Padraic Fiacc

By Staff Reporter

Grieving friends and family filled St Malachy’s Church in Belfast city centre on Saturday for the funeral of renowned poet Padraic Fiacc.

Author and journalist Henry McDonald described Fiacc as a “poet whose work captured the Troubles’ pain and horror”.

Fiacc was a member of the Aosdana, the distinguished fraternity that honours artists whose work has made an outstanding contribution to the creative arts in Ireland.

Born Joseph O’Connor, the acclaimed writer spent part of his early life in New York, returning to Northern Ireland in 1946. He adopted the pseudonym Padraic Fiacc, Irish for raven, at the behest of poet Padraic Colum.

The writer passed away peacefully in a south Belfast care facility, just minutes after the artist Michael McKernon read him one of his favourite works, A Want in Me.

Paying tribute to him, Irish president Michael D Higgins described Mr Fiacc as an “acclaimed poet with a unique perspective and courageous realism”.

Mr Higgins added: “He will be fondly missed by all of us who had the privilege of knowing him.”

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