Northern Ireland news

Poems by late poet Pádraic Fiacc gifted to Belfast schools

Copies of the late Pádraic Fiacc's `Ruined Pages', pictured with Year 11 students from Malone Integrated College with Principal Katrina Moore, James Kerr from Verbal Arts and Gilly Campbell from the Arts Council

A NEW generation will be introduced to the poetry of the late Pádraic Fiacc after educational charity Verbal Arts donated copies of his selected poems `Ruined Pages' to 50 Belfast secondary schools.

The Belfast poet died aged 94 at the end of January.

The books are a gift through the charity's publishing imprint `Lagan Press' supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Education Authority.

Born Patrick Joseph O'Connor in 1924 and later emigrating with his family to New York in the late 1920s, Fiacc is best known for his writing on the Troubles.

Read More: Poet Padraic Fiacc dies a week after visit by President Michael D Higgins

His contribution to Irish literature was recognised when he was elected a member of the Aosdana in 1981 and honoured by Belfast City Council in 2012 with a special reception at City Hall.

James Kerr, Verbal Arts chief executive said it is "delighted to be able to share the creative talent of Pádriac Fiacc with the next generation of young people".

"This bequest of `Ruined Pages; to the 50 post primary school libraries in Belfast gives a great overview for first time readers to the talent and vivacity of Fiacc and will sustain the legacy of one of our greatest poets for years to come."

Gilly Campbell of the Arts Council described Fiacc as "one of the most distinctive poets of his generation".

"We are delighted to be working alongside the Verbal Arts imprint Lagan Press and the Education Authority to gift this important collection to schools across Belfast, so that many generations to come can experience his work.

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