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The Linenhall Library
in Belfast lost one of its greatest champions and dearest friends
when Seamus Heaney died on 30 August 2013.
Dr Heaney was the great
man of Irish letters, his literary estate is in the National
Library of Ireland and he was both a Nobel Laureate and Commandeur de l'Ordre des
Arts et Lettres. He received many other awards, he had held
professorships in poetry at Harvard and Oxford, Queen's University Belfast has a Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry and The Independent previously described him as probably
the world's best known poet.
yet the Linenhall Library's website is also able to describe
Seamus Heaney as someone who “had time for everyone he met, made no
distinction of status or reputation, was encouraging to all, and
possessed of a rare human touch.”
Dr Heaney's passion for
the Linenhall Library, its people and its books extended back over
more than fifty years and he generously devoted his time, reputation
and poetry to the preservation and development of this great Belfast
institution. His passion for the library is there for all to see in
the delightful short film available to view at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFLFF2XeAcA.
It is also there in the words periodically quoted on the library
website's: “Saying the words 'Linen Hall' is salubrious and
restorative, unpolluting, healthgiving...The Library is community,
not a repository - it is a style, a conviction, a value.” (https://www.linenhall.com/)
At the time of his
death, Seamus Heaney was due to open the new Linenhall exhibition
Field work 1979: an interpretation in which
Helen Heron's textile pieces interpret his own poetry. This exhibition is
now a tribute to the great man. It runs from 2-30
September 2013 (admission free).
The Linenhall Library has opened
a book of condolence in memory Of Seamus Heaney: for details visit: