Monday 17 June 2019

Eileen's death after Donore accident

Hubert Murphy

The world of words, of classic thoughts and critical acclaim, lost a true friend on Sunday, December 23 with the death of Eileen Battersby.

Famed literary critic with the Irish Times for many years, Eileen had made her roots in Beauparc, Rossnaree, and her death, near Sheephouse, Donore, was as tragic as one could imagine.

She was with her beloved daughter Nadia on the Oldbridge to Donore road, just 4km outside Drogheda, when their vehicle left the road and impacted with a ditch. It was just after 2pm.

Both were taken to hospital, but Eileen (60) passed away the following day.

Four-times winner of the National Arts Journalist of the Year award, Eileen also won the Critic of the Year accolade and published a number of books.

Tributes poured in for her, from writers and performers, all stunned by her sudden passing.

President Michael D Higgins was one of those. 'News of the death of Eileen Battersby, literary critic, award winning journalist, novelist, animal lover and enthusiast for natural beauty, will have been heard with both shock and enormous sadness by those familiar with her work.

'They will have been impressed over the years by the sheer breadth of her interests, her insatiable curiosity for what was being produced in writing in both English and lesser known languages, which she reviewed in translation.

'Among all those, including Sabina and I, who have read her unique pieces over the years, there will be a feeling that criticism of fiction in particular has suffered a great loss. Indeed, to all those in the world of books, there will be a sense that a critic relied upon by so many readers, and respected by writers, has been taken from us.

'All of us owe her a debt of gratitude for her unstinting efforts to bring the best writers from around the world to our attention, her unflinching standards, and for the enthusiasm with which she brought her celebration of all aspects of the arts to so many different audiences.

'Sabina and I send our deepest condolences to her daughter Nadia, and the members of her family,' he wrote.

Witnesses or anyone with information is asked to contact Ashbourne Garda station on 01 8010600, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.

Drogheda Independent