The death has been announced of the Connemara-based author, artist and cartographer Tim Robinson, who has died in London aged 85 from coronavirus.

Mr Robinson, who had Parkinson's Disease, died in St Pancras Hospital in north London, two weeks after the passing of his wife and longtime collaborator Mairéad Robinson.

The couple had relocated from their long-term home in Roundstone in recent years, due to health issues.

Robinson was best known for his award-winning Connemara trilogy of non-fiction works, Listening to the Wind (2006), The Last Pool of Darkness (2008) and A Little Gaelic Kingdom (2011).

Born in England in 1935, Robinson studied at Cambridge and worked as a visual artist before moving to the Aran Islands in 1972.

This move informed what was to become his life's work, an ongoing project of mapping and writing about the Aran Islands and the extended Burren and Connemara regions. 

Writing about Robinson's work, author Robert Macfarlane wrote: "Many landscape writers have striven to give their prose the characteristics of the terrain they are describing. Few have succeeded as fully as Robinson."

Other works of note include a pair of books about the Aran Islands, Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage (1985) winner of the Irish Book Award Literature Medal and a Rooney Prize Special Award for Literature, and Stones of Aran: Labyrinth (1995), My Time in Space (1995) and his final published work, Experiments on Reality (2019).

His work was also the subject of an acclaimed 2011 documentary, Connemara, directed by Pat Collins.

He was elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2010.

President Of Ireland Michael D. Higgins said, in a statement: "Tim Robinson was a scholar who shared his profound understanding of his surroundings, and sought to draw attention to the incalculable value of the natural world and the threats that exist to our linguistic, cultural and physical heritage,"

"As a valued member of Aosdána and the Royal Irish Academy, Tim comfortably combined his scientific and artistic talents to enchanting effect in his wonderful publications. He was a scholar with unique and inter-disciplinary talents and an incomparable sense of wonder."

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Speaking today, Prof Kevin Rafter, Chair of the Arts Council said: "Tim Robinson was one of Ireland's most celebrated and revered writers of non-fiction.

"Consistently described as a 'renaissance man' and a 'polymath', Robinson was a unique and illuminating voice in Irish letters.

"Robinson’s writing, so often concerned with nature and the material world, allows the reader to see our world with the astonishment and awe it deserves. I have no doubt that his work will be read and marvelled over for generations to come."