Writer Sam McAughtry dies

Published Friday, 28 March 2014
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Writer and broadcaster Sam McAughtry has died at the age of 91 after a long illness.

Writer Sam McAughtry dies
The well-known writer Sam McAughtry has died. (© Pacemaker)

His works included Play It Again Sam, Blind Spot, Sam McAughtry's Belfast, McAughtry's War and Belfast Stories.

His memoir, On The Outside Looking In, was published in 2003.

He was born in Belfast in 1923. He joined the RAF and worked as a labourer and civil servant but found his true calling as a writer and broadcaster.

The Tiger's Bay man helped establish the Peace Train demonstration between Belfast and Dublin and was a trade unionist and member of the Northern Ireland Labour Party.

He worked for peace and understanding across Ireland and served as a member of the Irish Seanad.

In his first address to the upper house in 1996, he said: "I am a hybrid unionist in that I am happy to live in the United Kingdom but I am happier still to be Irish and to proclaim my Irishness."

A statement from his publisher, Blackstaff Press, said: "It is with great sorrow that we have learned today of the death of the writer and broadcaster Sam McAughtry.

"He was a much-loved Blackstaff author and we are proud to have published his books, from The Sinking Of The Kenbane Head in 1977, through to his last book, On The Outside Looking In, in 2003."

It added: "His great talent as a writer was his ability to write in a voice that immediately connected with people, because it was direct and sincere and full of emotion, whether it was telling Belfast stories, talking about his life in Tiger's Bay or writing about the death of his brother.

"He was a great friend to Blackstaff, a great ambassador for Belfast, and a brilliant storyteller. We will miss his wit, honesty and integrity."

© UTV News
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5 Comments
Mel in Belfast wrote (172 days ago):
Rip. What a talent! God bless x
John Poots in Hastings New Zealand wrote (174 days ago):
Sam is my cousin he will be sadly missed by us all here in New Zealand
DJ Kelly author in London wrote (174 days ago):
Godspeed 'Sodabread Sam'. May you continue to inspire writers as you so inspired me. Thank you dear Cousin for your kind encouragement.
David in Belfast wrote (174 days ago):
Loved his stories he made proud to be from Belfast. I first read his books in the Linenhall. Stuff it its losing James and Sam is losing part of being from herel
Shaun in Tyrone wrote (174 days ago):
RIP Sam . Enjoyed some off your work.. Inspirational
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