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Friel Donates His Works

Brian Friel.

By Irish America Staff
April / May 2001

Brian Friel, the Irish playwright who has had a string of successes on Broadway, starting with Tony-winning Dancing at Lughasa (later made into a film starring Meryl Streep), has presented his archived works to the National Library in Ireland.

The collection includes manuscripts and early drafts of his 26 plays and correspondence with literary figures such as Seamus Heaney, John McGahern and Brian Moore.

Friel said the decision to donate the documents had been a painful one. “But it had got to the stage where their needs were very specific. They wanted a good, dry home, they wanted some warmth, and they wanted a little attention,” he said.

Born in Omagh, Co. Tyrone in 1929, Friel ranks among the world’s most acclaimed dramatists.

The director of National Library, Brendan O’Donoghue, described the Friel papers as a priceless addition to the state’s archives. ♦

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