Ian Hill, a longstanding friend of IATC and for many years its Irish representative on ExCom, died suddenly at the age of 73. Ian trained in dentistry at Queen's University, Belfast, where he got a taste for journalism, becoming editor of student magazine The Gown. He went on to work for the Belfast Telegraph before turning freelance, where he built up a reputation for being one of Northern Ireland's leading arts writers and critics. As well as writing about the arts—theatre was his great love, and he also reviewed exhibitions—he was a presenter of arts programs on Radio Ulster. In recent years he contributed an arts gossip column to the Belfast Telegraph as "Man About Town," while continuing to review, for the British Theatre Guide among others.
He contributed a major essay on Arts Administration to Stepping Stones, the Arts in Ulster, 1971–2001 (Blackstaff Press, 2001), the third volume in the Arts in Ulster series, covering the development of Arts Council policy and practice.
He was also a travel writer and spent ten years working for the Northern Ireland Tourist Board. He wrote or contributed to many books about Northern Ireland and also on his other love, fishing.
He was the theatre reviewer for the Belfast Telegraph for many years. His reviews showed a wide and deep knowledge and love of Irish theatre and he was always able to place the productions he reviewed in context. He was not afraid to be totally honest, so that praise from Ian was praise indeed and criticism was always constructive.
He died at home on Friday, 16 July 2010. He leaves a wife, Helena, and two daughters, to whom the Association extends its deepest sympathies.