Arts community pay tribute to playwright and ‘gentle soul’ Jo Egan who died in Christmas Eve crash

The road traffic accident occurred on the N81 at Baltinglass, Wicklow

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has led tributes to playwright Jo Egan who lost her life in a crash in Wicklow on Christmas Eve.

The crash happened on the N81 at Mullycagh Lower, Baltinglass, shortly before midnight on Saturday.

Ms Egan was originally from Dublin and moved to Belfast in 1996, working with drama and creative workshops.

The Arts Council said it was “deeply saddened” to hear of her death.


“She was one of our finest, multi talented theatre practitioners who gave a voice to people and communities who were marginalised. A gentle soul who inspired all with whom she worked.

“We will all miss her warm smiles and endless generosities. You shone a light on all of us and demanded us to be better, the entire arts community across this island will miss her greatly.”

Brassneck Youth, a theatre group based in west Belfast said they were “devastated” by the death of their close friend and colleague.

“Jo was a great friend to the company and facilitated many writing workshops for our members. We extend our sympathies to Jo’s family, friends & wider artistic community. We will miss her very much.”

Irish actress Simone Kirby said she was “floored” to hear of her death.

“Over the last 20 years we had hours and hours of laughter and chats with Jo, and were looking forward to seeing more of each other in the west next year. Devastated for her family to lose such a kind and beautiful spirit,” she said in a tweet.

Claire Hanna, a SDLP MP for South Belfast, said it was “such sad news”.

“We hosted Jo Egan’s play ‘the Crack in Everything’, about children killed in the Troubles, in Westminster over the summer and like the rest of her work it was impactful and affecting. Sincere condolences to all who knew and loved her,” she added.

The Abbey Theatre and Lyric Theatre also tweeted condolences to Ms Egan’s family, friends and colleagues in the artistic community.

Gardaí have appealed for any witnesses to the collision to come forward, including any road users who may have camera footage (including dash-cam). They are asked to contact Baltinglass Garda Station on 059 6482610, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.