President Michael D Higgins has paid tribute to Michael Viney who has died aged 90.
The journalist, broadcaster, painter and natural-history author had lived in county Mayo since the late 70s.
Michael’s articles were a constant for decades in the Irish Times.
In 1977, he had moved with his wife, Ethna, and their daughter, Michele, from Dublin to Thallabawn, outside Louisburgh, to live as self-sufficiently as they could in a house on an acre of land by the Atlantic Ocean.
President Higgins says:
“Like so many people across the country who were moved by his wonderful work, faithful to nature in its resilience and diversity, I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Michael Viney.
As I said on the weekend of this 90th birthday, just a few short months ago when he penned his final ‘Another Life’ column in the Irish Times after 46 years, Michael Viney made a monumental contribution to making people across Ireland aware of the richness of natural life.
His work too in journalism, along with that of his equally talented wife Ethna Viney, brought a joy to so many people across the generations, be it on landscape or technology.
Together with his weekly writing and accompanying drawings in his ‘Another Life’ column, it is appropriate too that he is being remembered for his work travelling through Northern Ireland in 1964 as well as, in particular, his pioneering examination of the barbarisms being inflicted on young people in industrial and reformatory schools. As has already been noted, these will remain a vital historical record of the fact that many of these wrongs were committed in full public view, and sadly with the complicity of inaction on the part of so many.
He will be deeply missed.
May I extend my deepest sympathies to Michael’s wife Ethna, to his daughter Michele, to all those who knew him in his adopted home of Co Mayo, and to all of his family and friends.”