Poet and writer Anthony Cronin dies aged 88

Cronin had an acclaimed career, during which he published 14 volumes of poetry and several novels, memoirs and biographies

Poet, novelist, biographer and cultural activist Anthony Cronin has died at the age of 88.

Born in Enniscorthy in 1928, Mr. Cronin had an acclaimed career, during which he published 14 volumes of poetry and several novels, and the classic memoir of literary Dublin in the mid 20th century - Dead As Doornails.

He wrote an Irish Times column, 'Viewpoint', from 1973 to 1980, dealing with political, literary and social topics.

He also wrote acclaimed biographies of Flann O’Brien and Samuel Beckett.

In 1981 he persuaded the then Taoiseach Charles Haughey to establish Aosdána, an independent affiliation of artists which recognises significant achievement by artists in all disciplines.

He was conferred with the title of Saoi - the highest honour that members of Aosdána can bestow upon a fellow member - in 1993, joining well known literary figures Samuel Beckett, Seamus Heaney, Brian Friel, Mary Lavin, Sean Ó Faoláín, and Tony O’Malley.

Anthony Cronin is survived by his wife Anne and daughter Sarah.

The Arts Council has expressed its regret and condolences on his death.