Lo leads tribute to Brian Friel in Assembly

Anna Lo MLA has paid tribute to Brian Friel by bringing a Matter of the Day commemorating the late playwright to the Assembly.

The Alliance MLA tabled the motion following the death of the Co Tyrone-born writer on Friday (October 2). He was known for plays such as Dancing at Lughnasa and Philadelphia, Here I Come. Mr Friel was buried in Co Donegal yesterday.

Ms Lo said she was saddened by his death and wished to bring the Matter of the Day to show the high esteem in which he was held.

“Brian Friel was arguably Ireland’s most iconic playwright, sometimes described as ‘Ireland’s Chekov’. His plays are poignant and funny, and allow us a glimpse of the searing insight he had into the identity and lives of people.

“Brian Friel’s plays received global acclaim but despite that success, he remained very grounded – helping bring plays to schools halls and community centres, giving people who wouldn’t normally visit theatres the opportunity the chance to enjoy professional productions of his plays.

“I was introduced to his work when I worked in the BBC World Service and helped produce a programme on Philadelphia, Here I Come. I became a fan then and remained one ever since. We sadly lost a great talent last week, but Brian Friel’s work will live on and we are all the better for it.”

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