Poet Seamus Heaney dies

Irish poet and playwright Seamus Heaney, who won the Nobel Prize for literature, has died aged 74, according to BBC News.

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Heaney's coffin taken to church ahead of funeral

Seamus Heaney's coffin is carried into the Church of the Scared Heart, Donnybrook, Dublin, for the requiem mass before his funeral tomorrow. Credit: PA

The body of poet Seamus Heaney was taken to a Dublin church tonight ahead of a funeral service for the Nobel Laureate tomorrow.

Heaney's widow Marie led mourners at the Sacred Heart Church in Donnybrook for the removal mass.

Outside the church this evening, as the late summer sun bathed the exterior, family and friends hugged and exchanged stories about a poet already hailed as the best Ireland has produced since William Butler Yeats.


Liam Neeson: 'Ireland has lost part of its soul'

Liam Neeson paid tribute to the poet Credit: Reuters

Hollywood actor Liam Neeson said Ireland had lost a part of its soul with the death of the renowned poet.

"With Seamus Heaney's passing, Ireland, and Northern Ireland especially, has lost a part of its artistic soul," said the Co Antrim-born star.

"He crafted, through his poetry, who we are as a species and the living soil that we toiled in.

"By doing so, he defined our place in the universe. May he rest in peace," he told the BBC.

Bill Clinton: Heaney was ' a powerful voice for peace'

Bill Clinton paid tribute to the late poet Credit: PA

Former US president Bill Clinton praised Seamus Heaney as "our finest poet of the rhythms of ordinary lives" and a "powerful voice for peace" in a tribute tonight.

Mr Clinton and his wife Hillary said they were saddened to learn of the death of their "friend".

"Both his stunning work and his life were a gift to the world.

"His mind, heart, and his uniquely Irish gift for language made him our finest poet of the rhythms of ordinary lives and a powerful voice for peace.

"And he was a good and true friend," the Clintons said.

Heaney's poetry drew on Northern Ireland childhood

Seamus Heaney was born in April 1939 on a small farm called Mossbawn near Bellaghy in Co Derry, Northern Ireland. His upbringing often played out in the poetry he wrote in later years.

Seamus Heaney has died aged 74. Credit: Press Assocation

He was one of nine children and most recently lived in Dublin.

The Heaney family are expected to issue a statement on his death later.

Seamus Heaney gave poetry reading two days ago

Irish poet and playwright Seamus Heaney has died aged 74. Only two days ago the Nobel Prize winner appeared at the opening of International Society of Anglo-Saxonists Conference.

Seamus Heaney addresses the attendees at the unveiling of the Ted Hughes memorial in the Poets' corner of Westminster Abbey in 2011. Credit: Georgie Gillard/PA Archive/Press Association Images

There he read a selection of his translations of Old English and Medieval Irish poetry as well as poems on medieval topics.

To listen to the reading, click here.


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