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Tributes to novelist Maeve Binchy
The worlds of arts, politics and journalism have led tributes to Irish novelist Maeve Binchy, who has died at the age of 72.
Irish President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Enda Kenny lamented the passing of a national treasure, while literary colleagues and friends from the world of print and broadcasting remembered a warm and generous friend.
The former journalist and best-selling author died peacefully in hospital on Monday with her husband, children's writer Gordon Snell, by her side.
Binchy wrote 16 novels and sold more than 40 million books worldwide during her career.
Mr Kenny offered her family his deepest sympathies, on behalf of the Government and the Irish people, who he said had lost a national treasure.
"Across Ireland and the world people are mourning and celebrating Maeve Binchy," he said.
Mr Higgins, a well-known lover of the arts, described the acclaimed novelist as a great storyteller who had engaged and inspired millions the world over.
"In recent years she showed great courage and thankfully never lost her self-deprecating humour, honesty and remarkable integrity as an artist and human being," said the President.
Former British politician and author Jeffrey Archer was a close friend of Binchy for more than 30 years. He said she had the great God-given Irish gift of telling stories, who loved people and had a zest for life.
"She had that great gift of making you feel life was worth living. A very, very special person," Archer revealed.