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Brian Friel (1929 - 2015)

The Associated Press / PA, File / Niall Carson

Brian Friel (1929 - 2015)

DUBLIN (AP) - Irish authorities say Brian Friel, the Tony Award-winning playwright who created "Dancing at Lughnasa" and more than 30 other plays, has died at the age of 86.

The Arts Council of Ireland says in a statement that Friel died Friday. The cause of death was not given.

The statement says Frield "was, quite simply, a giant not only of Irish but of world theater."

Trained as a teacher, Friel turned to writing plays full time after the international success of his debut 1964 play, "Philadelphia, Here I Come!"

He collaborated with poet Seamus Heaney, actor Stephen Rea and fellow playwright Frank McGuinness in creating Ireland's Field Day Theatre Company and produced its most celebrated work, "Translations," in 1980.

"Dancing at Lughnasa" won three Tonys in 1992.

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