Seamus Heaney dead at 74
Irish minister praises 'great ambassador'
The world-renowned Irish poet Seamus Heaney has died. He was 74.
His family said he died in a Dublin hospital this morning following a short illness.
Born the eldest of nine children in Co Derry, Northern Ireland, Heaney won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995 and was made a Commandeur de L'Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture in 1996.
He attended a Catholic boarding school, and later at Queen's University Belfast, before making his home in Dublin, with periods of teaching in the US. He was an honorary fellow at Trinity College Dublin.
The 1966 collection Death of a Naturalist brought him into the public consciousness.
Ireland's Arts Minister, Jimmy Deenihan, paid tribute to the island's "great ambassador."
He said: “He was just a very humble, modest man. He was very accessible.
“Anywhere I have ever travelled in the world and you mention poetry and literature and the name of Seamus Heaney comes up immediately.
“He was a huge figure internationally, a great ambassador for literature obviously, but also for Ireland.”
Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt said: “His influence ran broader than the arts.
"We all remember how US president Bill Clinton chose Heaney's great phrase about when 'hope and history rhyme' from Heaney's play The Cure At Troy in his speech in Londonderry, and went on to use it for the title of his book detailing his vision of the US in the 21st Century."
And Patsy McGlone, SDLP MP for Mid-Ulster, where the poet was born, said: “Seamus Heaney was the voice of this community, a man of the people who knew his community well and reflected the history and cultural richness of that community.
“I remember him calling in to my father's business when I was younger and being struck by his humility.”
Heaney is survived by his wife, Marie, and children, Christopher, Michael and Catherine Ann.
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Secret Cinema: Why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Thatcher ‘was warned of Tory child sex party claims’
- 5 The Simpsons Family Guy trailer: First look at crossover episode after Comic-Con debut
Secret Cinema: Why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
Game of Thrones season 4 blooper reel unveiled at Comic-Con 2014
Fifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral backlash from US parenting groups
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Doctor Who series 8: Watch Peter Capaldi in new ‘Listen!’ teaser trailer
Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia