10/12/2016 15:26 GMT | Updated 11/12/2016 07:06 GMT

Northern Ireland Poet John Montague Dies

Northern Ireland poet John Montague has died aged 87.

Montague's work included numerous collections of poetry and prose, including The Rough Field, published in 1972.

Ireland's first professor of poetry was born in New York in 1929, but moved to Garvaghey in County Tyrone aged four.

Irish President Michael D Higgins said: "The death of John Montague represents another great loss to Irish letters, a further break with a rich body of work that was the gift of poets and dramatists, to Ulster, Ireland and the world."

Montague died early on Saturday in Nice, France, after undergoing major intestinal surgery, reported the Irish Times.

His widow, American novelist Elizabeth Wassell, told the paper: "On Thursday night we were sitting so closely. We were both lonely when we were apart.

"I suggested to John that it was a second courtship for us. He smiled warmly."

Montague is survived by his wife and daughters Sibyl and Oonagh.