Renowned poet O’Grady dies

The internationally renowned Limerick-born poet Desmond O’Grady has passed away after suffering a heart attack.

Desmond O'Grady: Lived in Kinsale for past 25 years.

Mr O’Grady, who was in his late 70s, was educated in Roscrea before leaving Ireland during the 1950s to teach and write in Paris, Rome, and the US.

He became a teaching fellow at Harvard University where he took his MA and PhD in Celtic languages and literatures and comparative studies. He also taught at the American University in Cairo and the University of Alexandria, Egypt.

From the late 1950s to the mid-1970s, while teaching in Rome, he was a founder member of the European Community of Writers, European editor of The Transatlantic Review, and organised the Spoleto International Poetry Festival and played the Irish poet part in Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita.

A member of Aosdána, he was the 2004 recipient of the Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship.

Daughter Deirdre paid tribute to her father, saying he leaves behind a life’s work that includes a large catalogue of publications of prose, poems, and translations. She said he died after suffering a heart attack in Cork, having been in ill health for the last few years.

The funeral of Desmond O’Grady will be held in Kinsale, where he lived for the last 25 years of his life.

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