RTE star Ryan Tubridy pays tribute to ‘gentle soul’ Brendan Kennelly

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Ryan Tubridy took to Instagram this morning to pay tribute to great Irish poet and Trinity lecturer, Brendan Kennelly.

The hugely popular poet died at the age of 85 yesterday after penning more than 30 collections during his lifetime.

The long-standing professor of modern literature had a huge impact on many of the people he met, including the well-read Late Late Show host.

His death came a day after another acclaimed Irish poet, Dublin-born Márie Mhac an tSaoi died at the age of 99.

Tubridy shared a picture of the beloved Kerry poet with a poignant caption.

He wrote: “A moment of mischief in Ballybunion (2017) with the late Brendan Kennelly.

“A gentle soul with a twinkle in his eye and words at will, he was beloved and will be missed. RIP.”

President Michael D. Higgins spoke to RTE’s Morning Ireland about his love of the two poets’ collections.

He said that this week was a sad time for Ireland’s cultural scene as we say farewell to two more of the greats.

He said: “It has been a very sad time for the arts and culture generally…

“These are two extraordinary, important figures.

“I think Brendan Kennelly, probably because of his commitment to sharing poetry and his commitment to performance… I think that he and people like Paul Durcan and Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill going around the country created huge audiences in extraordinary places.”

The President described Dublin native, Márie Mhac an tSaoi as a “fearless” writer.

She tweeted: “It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of Brendan Kennelly today.

“He was an inspiring teacher, a talented poet and a warm and good humoured presence on campus.

“He will be missed by his much loved family, Trinity and the country.”