Republic of Ireland news

Irish President leads tributes to novelist Deirde Purcell ahead of funeral on Thursday

The funeral of well-known Irish novelist Deirdre Purcell will take place in Dublin on Thursday.
Allan Preston

THE funeral of one of Ireland’s most famous novelists, Deirdre Purcell, will be held in Dublin on Thursday.

Ms Purcell (77), who also known for her career as a journalist and broadcaster, died suddenly on Monday.

Mourners have been encouraged to wear colourful clothing to Requiem Mass at Our Lady of Victories Church on Thursday.

The Irish President Michael D Higgins led the tributes, commenting: “In a distinguished career, Deirdre left a singular contribution in all of the different aspects of literature and broadcasting to which she turned her many talents – from her work as an actress in the Abbey Theatre, through her award-winning print journalism and time as the first female anchor of RTÉ’s Nine O’Clock news, and on to her critically acclaimed creative work in fiction."

A statement from her family added that they were “deeply grieving the sudden loss.”

“To the date before her death, Deirdre was full of plans, schemes and dreams as she always was. Deirdre made friends wherever she went and will be remembered by so many as a vibrant, clever and caring companion," they said.

“The talent, vivacity and sharp mind that made her an award-winning journalist, a globally successful fiction writer and – in her youth – a talented Abbey Theatre actress, never left her.

“She was a force of nature and we will miss her desperately.”

Republic of Ireland news