30/08/2013: Statement from Minister Jimmy Deenihan on the death of Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney.

30th August, 2013 – Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, has expressed his deep sorrow at the death of Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney, and has offered his condolences to his family Marie, Michael, Christopher, Catherine Ann and his many friends on their loss.

Minister Deenihan commented:

“Seamus Heaney was, without question, one of the most important writers of our age. His loss will be keenly felt, in Ireland and across the world. A global community of readers have followed his work for many decades. His writing had an huge international following.

“Only last June I had the privilege of hearing him read his work in Paris at the Centre Culturel Irlandais. You could sense the respect that people had for him. To hear him read was a most beautiful experience. Seamus was loved, and his skill with words, language and their innate musicality was rare and special.

“His personal warmth, his wit, his humility, and his generosity with his time and his talent are well known. He was a mentor to many. His work had a deep sense of place and of our rich heritage. It was steeped in the countryside and in mythology.

“The power of his language rang clear in so much of his work. For me, the lines that summed up this power so beautifully are:

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests
I’ll dig with it.

“Seamus will be remembered alongside the greatest poets of any age. Today, we have lost a leader.”


Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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