Former Director of Tyrone Guthrie Centre dies aged 68
The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has learned with sadness of the sudden death of Bernard Loughlin, following an accident on Friday at his home in Catalonia.
Bernard Loughlin, originally from Belfast, was the founding director of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig. He ran this ‘labour of love’ with his wife, Mary, for 18 years, from 1981 to 1999. The Tyrone Guthrie Centre is a workplace and retreat for creative artists from the island of Ireland and from overseas, funded by the two arts councils on the island. Many of our best-known artists have made use of the centre’s facilities, including Colm Tóibín, Anne Enright, Brian Kennedy and Phil Coulter.
Bernard Loughlin laid the foundations and established the ethos of the centre, transforming the abandoned building and grounds into an international residential workspace for artists. He will be remembered by the arts community for this contribution to the fertile creativity that is associated with the Tyrone Guthrie Centre. The impact of this legacy will last for decades to come.
Following his departure from the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, he moved to rural Catalonia and, in 2003, published his memoir, In the High Pyrenees: A New Life in a Mountain Village.
President Michael D Higgins paid tribute to Bernard Loughlin, saying:
“All of those who attended the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Monaghan, and indeed all of those in the creative arts in Ireland, will have been saddened to hear of the sudden death of Bernard Loughlin.
Bernard was the first director of the Centre in Monaghan that served as cradle to so much of the finest work in recent decades. He was not merely a great host to all those anxious to see the emergence, or the finish, of a piece of work, he was a source of inspiration and a fine artist in his own right.
Sabina and I would like to offer our deepest sympathy to all those who knew and loved Bernard.”
Bernard Loughlin is survived by his wife, Mary and children, Maeve and Eoin. He will be laid to rest in a secular funeral service conducted by author Michael Harding tomorrow, followed by burial in Farrera, Catalonia.