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Irish playwright Tom Murphy in Dublin, 1983.

Tributes paid to 'great' playwright Tom Murphy, who has died aged 83

The death of the award-winning Galway playwright was announced last night.

THE IRISH PLAYWRIGHT Tom Murphy has died at the age of 83.

President Michael D Higgins has led tributes to the Galway man last night, saying that his contribution to Irish theatre “is immeasurable and outstanding”.

Among his key works were A Whistle in the Dark, The Sanctuary Lamp and The Gigli Concert.

Prominent figures and fans of the arts and culture sector have described him as a “vital and intellectually fierce playwright”, “the unraveller of life” and his creations as “incredible plays and magic words”.

President Higgins said that the themes used by Murphy were “not only those which had influenced the very essence of Irishness, immigration, famine and loss – they were universal in their reach”.

From the early beginnings of his writings in Tuam, Tom Murphy produced a unique and often provocative body of work.
He was above all the great playwright of the emigrant, more than anyone capturing, in a poignant, creative way, the transience that is at the heart of the emigrant experience.

“It was such a joy to meet Tom so many times over the years, and a particular pleasure for any of us who have been privileged to call him our friend.”

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