Northern Ireland news

Tributes paid to `distinguished academic'

Irish writer, literary critic and distinguished academic, Denis Donoghue, has died at the age of 92
Marie Louise McConville

PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins has led tributes to writer, literary critic and distinguished academic Denis Donoghue.

The death of the 92-year-old was announced on social media by his daughter Emma, who is also an acclaimed novelist.

Born in Tullow in Co Carlow, Mr Donoghue was raised in Warrenpoint, Co Down, where his father was sergeant-in-charge of the RUC.

He was educated by the Christian Brothers in Newry.

Mr Donoghue later studied Latin and English at University College Dublin, earning a bachelor of arts degree in 1949, and later a Masters and PHD. He also earned a Masters at the University of Cambridge in 1964, and returned to Dublin, becoming a professor at UCD. He was a professor at New York University since the 1970s.

Mr Donoghue had published more than 30 books

Announcing her father's death on social media, Ms Donoghue wrote: "Goodbye and God bless to the best of fathers.

"So proud of all you squeezed into 92 years, and so grateful for the conversations, the teaching, the books, the love."

President Higgins said Mr Donoghue was "one of the foremost experts on the literary legacies of Ireland, the United States, and England".

"Students on both sides of the Atlantic will have learned with sadness of the death of Denis Donoghue, university professor, writer, literary critic and distinguished academic in Ireland and the United States," he said.

"A prolific author who published almost forty books of literary criticism, he was a charismatic lecturer. His lectures, being ruminations of such depth, reference and reflection across such a wide canvas were events in their own right. Students and fellow academics would speak of ‘being present' for those impressive intellectual excursions.

"In his critical work, he explored themes of imagination, culture and a writer's ability to transform experiences, both real and imaginary, into words that not only move the reader but have the power to create in their usage and method new realities and new possibilities."

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