Seamus Heaney

We are all deeply saddened today to hear the news that Seamus Heaney has passed away.

It’s not often that one can say they’ve had the pleasure of spending an hour in the company of one of the legendary figures of Irish literature. However that honour was mine last year when Joe Cox of Sligo Yeats Society brought Seamus Heaney to The Model for a private tour of the Jack B Yeats collection.

Heaney was visibly moved by a number of Jack Yeats’ later works and I recall that he paid particular attention to Leaving the Far Point, 1947, a very personal work by Yeats that eloquently addresses mortality, death and the natural cycle of life. Heaney’s erudition was clear as he quoted lines and recounted anecdotes about the Yeats Family, particularly John Butler Yeats in whom he appeared to have a strong interest. However it was his humility that left the biggest impression on me as he expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to see the collection.

Our sympathies go out to his wife Marie and his children.

Ar dheis go raibh a anam.