The renowned foreign correspondent and author Robert Fisk has died at the age of 74.
It has been reported that the journalist became unwell at his home in Dublin and later died in St Vincent’s hospital.
Born in the English county of Kent in 1946, Fisk later moved to Ireland and eventually became an Irish citizen. In his long career as a journalist he received many accolades, including the Orwell Prize for Journalism and the Foreign Reporter of the Year on multiple occasions. He was given honorary degrees and doctorates from universities in several countries.
Described by the New York Times in 2005 as “probably the most famous foreign correspondent in Britain”, Fisk was one of the few Western journalists to interview the al-Qaida leader, Osama bin Laden, which he did three times in the 1990s.
As a Middle East correspondent he covered many major stories and conflicts, such as the Lebanese civil war, the Iranian revolution, the Iran-Iraq war and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In his later years he turned his attention to the civil war in Syria, and caused controversy among some audiences with his firm stances on US foreign policy.
From 1989 he worked as a correspondent for the Independent newspaper in the UK, where he remained until his death.
In a public statement, Irish President Michael D Higgins expressed his “great sadness” about the loss of one of the Middle East’s “finest commentators”.
“Generations, not only of Irish people but all over the world, relied on him for a critical and informed view of what was taking place in the conflict zones of the world and, even more important, the influences that were perhaps the source of the conflict”, said Higgins.