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Tributes paid to King of Tory Patsy Dan Rodgers

King of Tory Patsy Dan Rodgers has died
Connla Young

PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins has paid tribute to the King of Tory Patsy Dan Rodgers who has died.

The 74-year-old - also known as Patsaí Dan Mag Ruaidhrí - passed away at the Mater Hospital in Dublin surrounded by family on Friday.

Mr Rodgers was known the world over for his love of the spectacular island - known as Toraigh in Irish - which sits off the coast of Donegal.

Born in Dublin in 1944, he was adopted by his family on the island at the age of four.

He later became a strong advocate for the island, which has a population of around 150, and campaigned for better services and transports links.

He also campaigned against proposals to relocate islanders to the mainland in the 1970s and 1980s.

He was also a well-known artist and regularly held exhibitions of his work, which included mainly island scenes.

He became King of Tory in the 1990s when the family of the previous king, Padraig Óg Rodgers, asked him to take his place.

He was a familiar figure to visitors on the island and regularly welcomed tourists off the ferry.

President Higgins described Mr Rodgers as an “advocate for Ireland's island communities”.

“His love for Toraigh island and its people was evident in his art and his campaigns, and he was an outstanding ambassador for the island in all its welcoming diversity,” he said.

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