Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Memorial service for author William McIlvanney

Ceremony Image copyright Martin Shields
Image caption The ceremony was held at the University of Glasgow's Bute Hall

Scots author William McIlvanney has been honoured with a posthumous doctorate at a memorial service.

The ceremony to award him an honorary Doctor of Literature degree was held in Bute Hall, at the University of Glasgow.

Fellow crime writer Val McDermid and actor David Hayman paid tribute to the "tartan noir" author, who died in 2015, aged 79.

McIlvanney is best known for his Laidlaw trilogy.

The service was introduced by his longtime friend, journalist and broadcaster Ruth Wishart.

Image caption Actor David Hayman paid tribute and read an excerpt from King Lear and one of McIlvanney's poems

Mr Hayman read an excerpt from Shakespeare's King Lear, which he said was McIlvanney's favourite play.

After also reading part of a McIlvanney poem from Weddings and After, he said: "Willie you embellished and enriched our lives. Thank you.

"A light has gone from the earth with that passing. Take care big man."

He then blew a kiss.

Traditional musician Sheena Wellington, who sang the Robert Burns song A Man's A Man For A' That at the opening ceremony of the Scottish Parliament in 1999, was also expected to perform.

Mr McIlvanney's daughter Siobhan McIlvanney and his brother, the sports journalist Hugh McIlvanney also spoke at the service.

Image copyright Martin Shields
Image caption Dr Siobhan McIlvanney accepted the degree on behalf of her father
Image copyright CONNECTfilm
Image caption Author William McIlvanney is credited with inventing the "tartan noir" genre.

The son of a miner from Kilmarnock in East Ayrshire, William McIlvanney studied English at Glasgow University, graduating in 1960.

He worked as a teacher before devoting himself full-time to writing. His crime novel Laidlaw, published in 1977 is credited as being the first example the Scottish crime fiction genre known as tartan noir.

Siobhan McIlvanney said the last piece of writing her father did was an acceptance note for the honorary degree and she was proud to accept it on his behalf.

Prof Roibeard O Maolalaigh, vice-principal and head of the college of arts, who will confer the degree, said: "He was one of Scotland's most accessible intellectuals who captured accurately and gracefully so many facets of the human condition.

"It is entirely fitting that his alma mater should honour and recognise his extraordinary contribution."

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