Ireland has lost yet another great writer. A little more than a month since the death of William Trevor at the age of 88, it was announced yesterday that Anthony Cronin had died, also aged 88.
Both men made a huge contribution to Irish literary life but Cronin’s influence was wider than the world of letters. He was also a critic and activist and a highly regarded commentator on cultural affairs, particularly as Editor of The Bell magazine and literary editor of the London journal, Time and Tide.
He also showed himself to be politically astute. A contemporary of Charles Haughey at University College Dublin, he served as the Taoiseach’s cultural adviser in the 1970s and early 80s, encouraging him to prioritise the arts in policy.
The result of the writer’s engagement with the Taoiseach, led to the creation of The Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Heritage Council, and the writers’ collective, Aosdána.
As Charles Haughey himself might have put it, he did the State some service.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved