Tributes paid to Cork poet Matthew Sweeney who died this morning

Matthew Sweeney.

Well-known, Cork-based poet Matthew Sweeney has died aged 66.

Sweeney, originally from Donegal, passed away this morning. The poet spoke about his battle with motor neuron disease earlier this year.

He is survived by his children and his partner Mary Noonan.

Back in April, Sweeney launched his latest collection of poetry at the Cork World Book Fest.

'My Life As A Painter' was published by Bloodaxe Books just four months ago.

In an Irish Examiner interview, the poet said he would not allow his diagnosis to 'stunt his creativity.'

"Like most people, I prefer not to dwell on my inevitable demise. Where the poems take me is another matter," he said.

Sweeney said his poetry gave him the most joy in life.

Poetry has been central to my life, and despite the lack of money it brings, I would do it all over again. How many people really value my poems? I wouldn’t say they’d fill a very small theatre, but there are some, he said.

Sweeney also hoped his work would inspire other young writers.

Certainly one thing that’s pleased me in recent years was a suggestion in a review of my last book that I may be responsible for some younger poets venturing into the weird, more surreal zone. That would be something.

His friend Pat Cotter, poet and artistic director of Munster Literature Centre and others have been tweeting about his passing.

Mr Sweeney's sister died of motor neurone disease in 2009.

- Digital Desk

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