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Funeral to take place of founding director of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre for creative artists

Bernard Loughlin (68) died last Friday

THE funeral is due to take place today of the founding director of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre for creative artists following his death in the Catalan Pyrenees.

Bernard Loughlin, who was originally from the Andersonstown area of west Belfast, died at his home in Farrera last Friday. It is understood the 68-year-old passed away following an accident with a dumper truck.

He was the first director of the centre at Annaghmakerrig, Co Monaghan, which is based in a house bequeathed by theatre director Tyrone Guthrie for use as an artists' retreat.

He ran the centre from 1981 to 1999 and was involved in its significant development. Following his departure from Annaghmakerrig, Mr Loughlin moved to live in rural Catalonia.

President Michael D Higgins paid tribute to Mr Loughlin who he said "was not merely a great host to all those anxious to see the emergence, or the finish, of a piece of work, he was a source of inspiration and a fine artist in his own right".

Josepha Madigan, Irish minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht also said: "I was very saddened to hearing of Bernard's untimely passing at his home in Spain over the weekend and would like to offer my condolences to his wife Mary and their children.

"During his time at the Centre, Bernard oversaw significant developments to provide one of only three residential workplaces for artists dedicated to supporting and facilitating creativity in the arts."

Mr Loughlin will be laid to rest in a secular funeral service conducted by author Michael Harding at noon today followed by burial in Catalonia.

He is survived by his wife, Mary and children, Maeve and Eoin.

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