President Michael D Higgins mourns the passing of Thomas Kinsella as “one of Ireland’s finest poets.” Poet Thomas Kinsella died at the age of 93 on Dec. 22, 2021. However cause of death is still unknown.
In a statement released from the office of the President. President Michael D Higgins said;
“All those with a love of Irish poetry and culture will be saddened to have learned today of the death of Thomas Kinsella, one of Ireland’s finest poets. His reputation at home and abroad was one of being of a school that sought an excellence that did not know borders.
“In addition to his rich contribution to the school syllabus for generations of students, where he once held a rare distinction as being a living poet on the syllabus, Thomas Kinsella’s work retained a fierce urgency and relevance for readers throughout life. Not least his work tackling the gap between the aspirations of what Irish society should be and that which he saw before him. That ethical pursuit was attempted through rigorously honed lines.”
— President of Ireland (@PresidentIRL) December 22, 2021
In 1958, Kinsella gained widespread recognition as a Poet. Among his most noted work was the Táin, Butchers Dozen and Mirror in February.
Born in Inchicore, Dublin in 1928. Kinsella resigned from the Civil Service in 1965 to take up a position as poet-in-residence at Southern Illinois University. He was later appointed Professor of English at Temple University, Philadelphia.
In 2007, Kinsella was made a Freeman of Dublin in 2007 and was conferred with a Doctor in Letters by Trinity College in 2018. A plaque was also erected in his honour at his childhood home in Inchicore, an area he often referenced in his work.
Thomas Kinsella received Guggenheim Fellowships in 1968/9 and 1971/2, and the Dennis Devlin Memorial Awards in 1966, 1969, 1992 and 1994. He is included in The Great Modern Poets, an anthology of the best poets and poetry since 1900. He received an honorary doctorate in literature from UCD in 1984 and he was awarded the Ulysses medal in 2008. Trinity College Dublin awarded him an honorary doctorate in Literature in 2018.
Kinsella was highly regarded among fellow writers and poets, with Eavan Boland describing him as a “glowing powerful source in Irish poetry”.
Very sorry to hear of the death of Thomas Kinsella, Freeman of the City of Dublin. His pride in his home city of Dublin shone through his poetry and I extend my sympathies to his family. The Dublin flags on the Mansion House and City Hall will fly at half-mast as mark of respect pic.twitter.com/gCbEkt9Hdt
— Lord Mayor of Dublin (@LordMayorDublin) December 22, 2021