Thursday 26 April 2018

Irish playwright Brian Friel has died aged 86

Brian Friel with his wife Anne and daughters Sally (left) and Mary
Brian Friel with his wife Anne and daughters Sally (left) and Mary
Brian Friel, pictured with Seamus Heaney, was awarded the Ulysses Medal by UCD
Brian Friel with Sinead Cusack at his 80th birthday celebrations in the Abbey Theatre
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Renowned Irish Playwright Brian Friel has died aged 86.

Friel is best known for plays including Philadephia, Here I Come! and Dancing at Lughnasa, the latter of which earned him three Tony Awards and the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Play in 1992.

Friel was born in Omagh, Co Tyrone in 1929 and attended St Clumb's College in Derry which was also attended by Seamus Heaney, John Hume, Phil Coulter and Paul Brady.

His father was a teacher and his mother a postmistress in Glenties in Donegal and Friel worked for a time as a teacher before starting to write full time in 1960.

He was appointed to Seanad Éireann in 1987 where he served for two years.  He wrote 30 plays over the course of his illustrious career.

He passed away peacefully at his home in Donegal on Friday morning and is survived by wife Anne, three daughters and his son.

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