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Tributes paid to Donegal-born poet Matthew Sweeney who has died less than a year after motor neuron disease diagnosis

Matthew Sweeney had previously lived in Berlin, the Romanian city of Timisoara and, for a long time, Bloomsbury in London

TRIBUTES have been paid to Co Donegal-born poet Matthew Sweeney who has died less than a year after being diagnosed with motor neuron disease.

Sweeney died "peacefully" on Sunday at Cork University Hospital, having settled at Sunday's Well in the city in recent years with his partner Mary Noonan.

He had previously lived in Berlin, the Romanian city of Timisoara and, for a long time, Bloomsbury in London.

Chair of the Irish Arts Council Sheila Pratschke expressed the organisations regret at his passing.

"The Arts Council is immensely saddened to learn of the death of Matthew Sweeney, a poet of fierce determination and originality, technical accomplishment and verve," she said.

"His poetry took inspiration from Ireland but also, notably, from other parts of Europe, and his work has been translated into many languages.

"He published numerous collections throughout his life, and was also an inspiring teacher of the craft.

"Sweeney was an engaged and active part of the literary community in Ireland and abroad. His poetry will undoubtedly continue to be read and studied, but his loss will be deeply felt."

A celebration of his life and poetry will take place tomorrow in the Triskel Arts Centre on Tobin Street in Cork City from 11am to 2pm.

His burial will follow on Thursday at 2pm in Clonmany New Cemetery, Co Donegal.

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