Irish Democrat columnist honoured

Democrat reporter

LONG-STANDING Irish Democrat columnist and contributor Peter Berresford Ellis has become only the second living writer to have been made an honorary life member of the Irish Literary Society.

The Society’s current president, the poet and Nobel prize winner Seamus Heaney, conferred the honour for the writer and historian’s ‘notable contribution to Irish literature and cultural scholarship’ at a special event in London in November.

Since its foundation in 1891, the Society has counted a number of prominent Irish writers and literary figures amongst its members, including W B Yeats, Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker and Arthur Conan Doyle.

Peter Berresford Ellis’ prolific output as a Celtic scholar, labour-movement historian and novelist spans works on Connolly, ancient Celtic society and the Sister Fidelma crime fiction series, the latter of which he writes using the pseudonym Peter Tremayne.

He first came in contact with the Society when he was invited by Máire Gaster to attend one of its lectures in the 1960s. Gaster was the daughter of Robert Lynd, who wrote the famous introduction to the October 1916 edition of Connolly’s Labour in Irish History.

“I am delighted that such a reputable literary society has given me this accolade. From W B Yeats to Seamus Heaney, the society has represented some of the best in Irish literary endeavour. I am privileged to have been included,” said Berresford Ellis.

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