Very sad. The financial times had an interview with her recently. She came across still full of mischief. RIP
Full Tilt : Ireland to India with a Bicycle
is a great read, essential touring equipment "a gun"
RTE's "Sunday Miscellany" had a birthday tribute to her last November - don't know if it still available. To describe her as just "cyclist" and a "travel writer" would be to do her a serious injustice. The "non-cycling" Dervla was an even more impressive person than "cycling" Dervla. In the tribute program, Palestinian writer and lawyer Raja Shehadeh spoke of how Dervla would not live or travel any differently to the Palestinians amongst whom she was living, even if safer or easier options were available to her.
RTE's "Sunday Miscellany" had a birthday tribute to her last November - don't know if it still available.
I must reread Full Tilt.
Her humanity, humility and courage shine through in her books which are somewhat timeless.
A life very well lived - she definitely ploughed her own furrow.
A good person gone. As the previous poster said , a life very well lived to put it mildly. RIP.
'Through the Embers of Chaos: Balkan Journeys', her book about cycling around the former Yugoslav republics was a masterpiece
I would advise anyone interested in her or her writings to start with Wheels Within Wheels. This is her autobiography of her childhood and written after Full Tilt. But it gives Full Tilt a better context.
One of my most admired Irish people. She toured around N Ir at the height of the vicious imbroglio that engulfed it throughout the 1970s. I learnt a lot from the resulting book- A PLACE APART. A woman of courage , skill and deep humanity who wisely eschewed the shallowness of fame.
Wish we had more like her around today.
It's many years since I too read A Place Apart and it was an eye opener for a southerner. I can only remember the overall tone of it, but I dare say a fair number of the insights would still be relevant today.
Very sad news. RIP. RTE had a good documentary a few years ago with her at her home in Lismore talking about her life. It may be on the player, but a quick search has turned nothing up (not to say it's not there). Not a good week for Irish culture with the passing of Cathal Coughlan as well
A truly incredible person
I looked at my bookshelf yesterday eve and realised I have 10 of Dervla's books (with a few more on my wish list). I think she was a vastly underappreciated Irish treasure, and like many such treasures, perhaps more appreciated outside the country than at home.
I expect she was regarded by some too as rather eccentric and blunt or plain speaking, which may have accounted by the wariness of some of the Irish establishment from overtly embracing her, for fear of what conclusions her insightful and piercing introspective on them might conclude, definately a woman with a great ability to cut through the bullshit and pare things down to the simple unvarnished and undeniable facts.
Dervla was the reason I took up cycle touring in the early 1990's after reading Full Tilt and my love of cycling as a way of getting literally anywhere persists to this day and for that alone I am truly grateful to her, apart from her wisdom and insight on such diverse things as Afghanistan, Aids in Africa, Post Ceacusceau Romania, The divisions of Northern Ireland, Nuclear Power and The travels of Walter Starkie and Patrick Leigh Fermor amongst other subjects.
I fear like the line from Joni Mitchell we may not truly appreciate what we had in Dervla until now that she's gone. I hope RTE re screen the ducumentary to her in tribute very soon again. RIP Dervla, thanks for the insights, the wisdom and the humility!