The Taoiseach has offered his condolences on the passing of Maeve Binchy.
Enda Kenny says we have lost a national treasure whom he says is a huge loss ‘wherever stories of love, hope, generosity and possibility are read and cherished’.
In a statement issued this morning he says that as a nation, we are ‘thankful for and proud of the writer and the woman Maeve Binchy’.
Mr. Kenny has offered his deepest sympathies and those of the government and Irish people to her husband and extended family.
The 72-year-old passed away in hospital last night with her husband by her side.
Meanwhile support group Age Action has paid tribute to her as a generous supporter of their work.
In a statement Chief Executive Robin Webster said she had a great understanding of the ageing process and that was reflected in some of her later work and in her public interviews.
She was born in Dublin in 1940 and was the eldest of 4 children.
She was educated at University College Dublin (UCD) and after graduation she worked as a teacher and later as a columnist and journalist at theÂ Irish Times.
Binchy published her first novel ‘Light a Penny Candle’ in 1982.
It was an international bestseller and made her a household name in Ireland.
In the intervening years she published 15 novels.
One of them – Circle of Friends – was made into a Hollywood movie starring Minnie Driver and Chris O’Donnell.
Her last novel ‘Minding Frankie’ was published in 2010.
She will be remembered for her prolific work as a novelist as well as for her charm and her quick wit.
She is survived by her husband the children’s author Gordon Snell.
The writer spoke to Newstalk just a few months ago describing the difference between working in Dublin and London.
Actress Brenda Fricker remembered her friend on Breakfast this morning.
Film and theatre producer Noel Pearson also worked with Maeve Binchy and remembered her on Breakfast earlier.
Speaking back in March 2011 Maeve discusses the writing life and her last work ‘Minding Frankie’.
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style="text-decoration: underline;">TheÂ Irish Times for which she wrote has also paid tribute to her: