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Tributes paid to north Belfast writer and storyteller Kate Muldoon (66)

North Belfast writer Kate Muldoon, who passed away on December 26
Paul Ainsworth

THE funeral will take place on Friday of north Belfast writer Kate Muldoon, described as a “legend” in community arts circles.

The playwright, storyteller and community activist died on St Stephen's Day at her home in Ardoyne surrounded by family.

The 66-year-old had been diagnosed with a brain tumour last year.

She was one of the founders of the Community Arts Forum – which became the Community Arts Partnership in 2011 – and helped sustain a vibrant arts scene in Belfast at the tail end of the Troubles in the 1990s.

Although she had been retired for around five years, she continued to devote her free time to writing.

The mother-of-four’s final project – a showcase of stories and songs about heroic figures in Irish history – was completed as her illness took hold and performed at an Ardoyne venue in November to local acclaim.

Her daughter Nuala said her skill lay in finding humour even in the bleakest of situations.

“She loved writing short stories, poetry and plays, and was passionate about bettering her local community,” she said.

“Myself, my brother, my two sisters, and my father John - we were all devastated to learn about her condition.

"However, she has left behind a fantastic legacy, and her final work, titled Irish Heroes in Story and Song, was performed at the Crumlin Star Social Club in Ardoyne.

“My mother had many more ideas in her that we will sadly never get to read, and was a great lover of all things Irish. I’m so proud she made such an impact during her time.”

Fellow north Belfast playwright Martin Lynch was among friends to pay tribute, having worked with Ms Muldoon at the Community Arts Forum.

“Her role took on all kinds of manifestations. In fact, the place wouldn’t have functioned without her,” he said.

“Her generosity of spirit, her kindly temperament and her fierce loyalty made it a complete pleasure – and indeed a great honour – to work alongside her. Put simply, Kate Muldoon was a great woman. None better.”

Irish language activist Linda Ervine also said she had fond memories of Ms Muldoon bringing her storytelling skills to her east Belfast classes.

“A wonderful woman with a big heart,” she said, adding that her friend was “full of warmth and humour”.

Kate Muldoon will be laid to rest following funeral Mass at Ardoyne’s Holy Cross Church.

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