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The King of Tory Island Patsy Dan Rodgers has died

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The King of Tory Island Patsy Dan Rodgers  has died

Patsy Dan Rodgers, King of Tory, who died yesterday

The King of Tory, Patsaí Dan Mag Ruaidhrí, also known as Patsy Dan Rodgers, has died.

74 years of age,  he passed away in the Mater Hospital in Dublin yesterday, surrounded by his family. 

A musician, an artist, a lover and advocate for the Irish language, a passionate campaigner for the island, he was usually the first person visitors to the island would meet as they arrived off the ferry.

A man full of fun, he loved to see people come to Tory and he greeted many renowned visitors to the island, not least the Sam Maguire in 1992 when it was brought there in September of that year by the Donegal County GAA board.

Born at Westland Row in Dublin in 1944, he was adopted by his family on Tory at the age of about four.

As a young man he, along with a number of other islanders, was encouraged to paint by English artist Derek Hill, who regularly spent time on the island painting and who became patron of the Tory Island School of Primitive Art.

His work, mostly island scenes, was exhibited nationally and internationally. His last exhibition was held in Donegal this summer to celebrate his 50th year as an artist.

He became King of Tory in the 1990s when the children of the last King, Padraig Óg Rodgers, asked him to accept the honour of their father and become King.

He regularly visited Leinster House to lobby for the island, most recently earlier this year as part of the campaign for improved ferry services.

A great advocate for the Irish language and culture, he was a renowned musician and was awarded an honorary Master's degree by the University of Ulster in 1997.

Patsy Dan Rodgers is survived by his wife Caitlin and their four children.