Tyrone poet's death is a 'great loss to Irish letters'

Internationally acclaimed poet John Montague

Internationally acclaimed poet John Montague

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Tributes have been paid to County Tyrone poet John Montague, who died earlier today.

The Arts Council of Ireland said the 87-year-old's death is a "true loss to Irish literature."

It is expected his remains will be brought from Nice, where he was living, to be buried in Tyrone.

Born in New York in 1929, he was sent to live with relatives in Garvaghey as a young child.

Educated in Armagh and Dublin, he returned to the USA to write and study, teaching at Berkeley university in California in the late 60s.

Leading the tributes, President of Ireland Michael D Higgins said the death of John Montague "represents another great loss to Irish letters, a further break with a rich body of work that was the gift of poets and dramatists, to Ulster, Ireland and the world".

The President added: "His wry, self-deprecating company, his humour, his openness to opposite opinions, will be missed by all of us who were privileged to be his friends – and so many were."