June 22, 2022

Seamus Heaney honored with “Poetry House” in Bellaghy’s hometown


THE DEATH OF SEAMUS Heaney, who passed away a year ago yesterday, was honored at a series of events in his hometown of Bellaghy.

Among the attendees was Deputy Prime Minister Martin McGuinness, who is pictured here with Patrick Brennan, chair of the Seamus Heaney organizing committee – A Dedication which took place last night at Bellaghy Bawn:

Source: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Speaking at the event, McGuinness said:

I am truly honored to be here to celebrate and commemorate one of Ireland’s finest, Seamus Heaney. Coinciding with the first anniversary of his death, it is a fitting way to celebrate his contribution to literature and his legacy for future generations of poets. His writings come from a deeply educated soul, who is the product of immense cultural pride, and I have no doubt that Seamus Heaney’s work will continue to move us deeply and enrich our entire lives.

The event came after it was announced last week that a new Seamus Heaney center has been approved for Bellaghy.

House of poetry

The chairman of the organizing committee, Patrick Brennan, said that the Poetry House 2014 “was conceived as an occasion that is both honorary and festive, aware of the deep loss of family and friends and of our global culture, while recalling Seamus’ good humor, the mischievous twinkle in his eyes, his famous mischievous’ laugh ‘, his unique voice and his deep love for his place.

Bellaghy Bawn attended lectures and site tours throughout the weekend, which touched on the history, environment and life of Seamus Heaney.

There was also a visit to Heaney’s resting place at St Mary’s Church Cemetery, where poems were read by graduates of the Heaney Center at Queen’s University Belfast.

A specially commissioned Harvest Bow was then placed on his grave, reminiscent of Seamus’s elegiac poem The Harvest Bow.

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This was followed by a celebratory procession through the village to the Turfman sculpture. The afternoon saw a number of musical events, such as traditional Irish music and Scottish dancing.

A documentary is being made on this weekend’s event.

The Poetry House was first mentioned in Heaney in 2012, and more information can be found it online.

Talk to TheJournal.fr, Fergal Kearney said the Poetry House event was “a mixture of serenity and pride” but also sadness over Heaney’s death and how it still resonates with people.

The anniversary of the year is “a marker because history tells us that a year of mourning is an appropriate time. We were still mourning Seamus but we also said we had to get over the fact that he wasn’t with us, ”Kearney added.

Read: “Do not be afraid”: the last words of Seamus Heaney recalled during a poignant goodbye>