The death has occurred in Dublin of Bernadette Nolan, mother of poet and novelist Christopher Nolan.

She died peacefully at Beaumont Hospital yesterday at the age of 87 having been unwell since February.

Speaking this morning her daughter Yvonne said: "Bernadette's pride in my brother's work and achievements buoyed her up even in the final weeks of her life. Helping Christy find a means of communication was her life's great work."

Bernadette Nolan was from Clonbonny, Athlone and married Joseph Nolan in 1962. Their son Christopher was born with severe cerebral palsy in 1965.

The Nolans lived on a farm near Mullingar until moving to Clontarf, Dublin in the 1970s in order for Christopher to attend the Central Remedial Clinic's primary school.

He attended Mount Temple Secondary School and Trinity College, Dublin. Without Bernadette's unswerving belief in her son's intelligence and her battle to find him an education that would enable its expression, it is extremely doubtful that Christopher's extraordinary literary abilities would have been discovered.

When CRC occupational therapist Eva Fitzpatrick worked out a system that enabled him to write using a pointer attached to his forehead, she showed Bernadette a way of supporting his chin, which allowed him to reach for each letter.

It was a slow and painstaking method of writing but it led to his first book Dam-Burst of Dreams in 1981. His second book a memoir 'Under the Eye of the Clock' was published in 1987 and went on the win the prestigious Whitbread Prize in 1987.

The book was a best-seller in Ireland, the United Kingdom and in the USA. He went on to write a novel The Banyan Tree which was published in 1999.

Christopher Nolan died in 2009.

His talent earned him many honours during his lifetime, including the Medal of Excellence from the United Nation's Society of Writers and an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by Lancaster University, which was conferred in 1991.

He was named Person of the Year in Ireland in 1988 and was made a member of Aosdána in 1998.

Bernadette Nolan is survived by her husband Joseph and daughter Yvonne.