Entertainment & Arts

Lyric Seamus Heaney event full to capacity

Seamus Heaney
Image caption Seamus Heaney, acclaimed by many as the best Irish poet since WB Yeats, died aged 74 on Friday.

A special event celebrating the life and works of Seamus Heaney took place at Belfast's Lyric Theatre on Saturday.

Organisers said all of the tickets were snapped up overnight.

Seamus Heaney, acclaimed by many as the best Irish poet since WB Yeats, died aged 74 on Friday.

The free event at the Lyric was arranged to allow people to remember Heaney at the theatre he loved throughout his life.

During the event there were personal tributes, readings from the Nobel Laureate's poetry and some musical performances during the hour-long event.

Lyric Theatre Trustee, Stephen Douds said the response to the event had been "astonishing".

"This evening's event is really just the Lyric theatre opening up a shared space, opening up the doors and creating a very informal event where his friends and people he worked with can recall and celebrate some of his life," he said.

"That will involve reading some of his poems, sharing personal memories and some musical tributes as well.

"Michael Longley is going to take part and some of the younger poets who have been influenced by Seamus as well."

A book of condolence has opened at the Guildhall in Londonderry, where the Nobel Laureate went to school.

Another Book of Condolence will be opened at Belfast City Hall on Monday.

A funeral Mass for the poet will take place on Monday at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook, Dublin.

This will be followed by interment in Bellaghy, Northern Ireland.

Tributes have been pouring in for Heaney who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995 "for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past".

Over his long career he was awarded numerous prizes and received many honours for his work.

He recently suffered from ill health.

Heaney was born in April 1939, the eldest of nine children, on a farm near Toomebridge in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, but as a child moved to the village of Bellaghy.

He was educated at St Columb's College, Derry, a Catholic boarding school, and later at Queen's University Belfast, before training as a teacher. He settled in Dublin, with periods of teaching in the US.

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