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Stewart Parker; Irish Playwright

Stewart Parker, 47, whose first important play, “Spokesong,” told the history of the bicycle as a way of illustrating the history of Irish conflict and won him a London award as most promising playwright of 1976. Other of the Irish writer’s acclaimed plays were “Northern Star” and “Pentecost,” both dealing with the conflict between Protestants and Roman Catholics in Northern Ireland, and a TV drama, “I’m A Dreamer, Montreal.” Parker was born in working-class Protestant east Belfast and once said: “You had to struggle with the place because you were told you were British with an allegiance to the monarch, yet there was a feeling that you were Irish.” After taking a master’s degree in poetic drama at Queen’s University in Belfast, Parker taught from 1964 at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., returning home five years later to start his writing career. In London on Wednesday of bone cancer.


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