It is with great sadness and a heavy heart to hear of the passing of Macdara Woods this week, who has been one of the country’s senior figures in contemporary Irish poetry.

“I came to know Macdara through attending the Scoil Acla Writer’s Workshop, which he tutored every year between 1991 and 2016, which I started attending from the age of 14 onwards.” Catherine Gallagher, a close friend of Macdara recounts.

“He was the most intelligent, kind, gentle and inclusive man I have met, with a razor sharp memory and eye for detail. I myself am almost 21 years of age, and I credit him as the sole reason that I have pursued writing at any capacity, be it through journalism or poetry. Every time I spoke with him, he always said simply “keep writing” ” 

“He was encouraging to anyone and everyone who attended his class. He made a significant contribution to Achill and indeed of course Ireland, by nurturing art through the creative and spoken word. Macdara wrote a dozen collections of poetry. His language was always constructive, curing, memorable and accurate. I am very lucky to have been able to call him a friend, despite the gap in generations between us”

Sarah Calvey, Cathaoirleach of Scoil Acla said “the Scoil Acla organisation, Achill and Ireland are much richer due to the contribution Macdara made to our culture and heritage throughout the years.”

Scoil Acla CCÉ expresses our deepest sympathies to his wife, poet Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, their son Niall, the extended family and friends of Macdara.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.


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