The world-famous poet Seamus Heaney has died aged 74.

Heaney grew up in Co. Derry and much of his work is about his childhood surroundings and experiences there. He later moved to Dublin/Wicklow with his family and resided there until his death today.

I’ve been a huge fan of Heaney’s work for a long time and was very fortunate to study him at university. As an English tutor I get great satisfaction on teaching students to appreciate the value of his poetry.

Just two weeks ago I was very fortunate to see Seamus Heaney in Derry and hear him read his work to a home audience. It was truly magical hearing him recite ‘Digging’ and the applause which followed was heart-warming. Another favourite ‘Mid-Term Break’ was also read on the night and equally well received.

Seamus Heaney was a teacher before beginning his career as a poet. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995.
He is survived by his wife, Marie, and children, Christopher, Michael and Catherine Ann.

Martin McGuinness, Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, tweeted: “Very shocked and deeply saddened to hear that Seamus Heaney, Derryman, poet and Nobel Laureate has died. My thoughts & prayers are with Marie and family”.
Fellow poet Eavan Boland said: ‘He was an extraordinary good poet’.

Seamus Heaney will be sadly missed by many but he has left the world a legacy in his work. A true poetic genius has left the world today. RIP Seamus Heaney.

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