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A true artist who was a member of 'The Group'

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Derek Mahon, the Belfast-born poet who has died at the age of 78, was part of 'The Group', a number of young, mostly Northern Irish poets including Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley and Paul Muldoon. (Ryan Phillips/PA)

Derek Mahon, the Belfast-born poet who has died at the age of 78, was part of 'The Group', a number of young, mostly Northern Irish poets including Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley and Paul Muldoon. (Ryan Phillips/PA)

Derek Mahon, the Belfast-born poet who has died at the age of 78, was part of 'The Group', a number of young, mostly Northern Irish poets including Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley and Paul Muldoon. (Ryan Phillips/PA)

Derek Mahon, the Belfast-born poet who has died at the age of 78, was part of 'The Group', a number of young, mostly Northern Irish poets including Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley and Paul Muldoon.

Often regarded as the beginning of a wonderful period in Irish poetry, members of The Group often gathered at the home of Queen's University lecturer Philip Hobsbaum. However, Mahon disputed the significance of the period, saying that the way the story was often told they were "terrified provincial ignoramuses who needed someone from Cambridge to get us going".

Whatever his own motivation, he is recognised as having produced one of the most impressive and extensive body of works in Irish poetry in the last 50-plus years.


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