Tag Archives: Seamus Heaney

This morning.

Via Irish Time letters:

The motivations of the anti-vaccination members of our communities are difficult to understand.

To more than 90 per cent of us the opportunity to protect ourselves from getting sick or worse, through availing of the vaccines, was an opportunity we took, once we had assessed the risks and benefits.

Those we knew that did not avail of the vaccine seemed prone to convoluted and often extreme theories of vaccines, science, and even basic maths. Persuasive arguments on vaccine benefits for the elimination of diseases like smallpox and polio, were countered with inane conspiracy theories.

However, given the low instance of Covid disease in the outdoor, regulated summer, most of the 90 per cent were tolerant of their unvaccinated friends and avoided pointing out to them that they were often repeating nonsensical jargon that lacked any scrutiny.

In hindsight it was ill-judged to let the conspiracy theories, anti-science and anti-vaccination go unchallenged.

It is difficult now for the 90 per cent to remain tolerant, however, as the unvaccinated get infected at roughly 10 times the rate of the vaccinated and the resources for dealing with infected people are now stretched to breaking.

Now the 10 per cent are needing 50 per cent of the hospital Covid beds; the 10 per cent are needing 50 per cent of the precious ICU Covid facilities to stop them from dying.

Frontline staff, who have now worked flat out for 20 months, are treating the 10 per cent who had a choice to protect themselves through vaccination but chose not to.

There is a much used saying “ar scáth a cheile a mhaireann na daoine”, it is worth emphasising that this is true not alone for the unvaccinated “na daoine” but also the 90 per cent in the community.

Berniann Condon,

Dingle, county Kerry

Irish Times letters


Live from Los Angeles…

Buzz O Neil Maxwell writes:

Patrick Kielty reads Seamus Heaney’s Funeral Rites at the Seamus Heaney Symposium of IrelandWeek 2019. and explains his personal connection to the poem and why he chose to read it on the night.

Held at the Clark Library, UCLA, the Symposium was a very special evening to celebrate the life of Seamus, and the US publication of the newest anthology of his work, 100 Poems, selected by his family…”

IrelandWeek 2019


This morning.

Bank of Ireland, College Green, Dublin 2

The opening weekend  the ‘Listen Now Again’ exhibition of memorabilia from the life of Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney at the new Cultural and Heritage Centre within Bank of Ireland’s College Green complex. The exhibition is free and will remain in the new space until at least 2022 .

Listen Now Again (NLI)

Sam Boal/Rollingnews




In fairness.

Thanks Dermot Bohan


00000401Seamus Heaney with the Nobel Prize for Literature, 1995

Embargoed until 4.15.

The waiting is over.

Ireland’s best loved poem of the last 100 years is…

‘When all the others were away at Mass’

When all the others were away at Mass
I was all hers as we peeled potatoes.
They broke the silence, let fall one by one
Like solder weeping off the soldering iron:
Cold comforts set between us, things to share
Gleaming in a bucket of clean water.
And again let fall. Little pleasant splashes
From each other’s work would bring us to our senses.
So while the parish priest at her bedside
Went hammer and tongs at the prayers for the dying
And some were responding and some crying
I remembered her head bent towards my head,
Her breath in mine, our fluent dipping knives–
Never closer the whole rest of our lives.

Seamus Heaney

As voted by the general public.

Beating works from Kavanagh, Durcan, Yeats and Moynes.

Judges felt the poem had everything.

Mammy. Check. Potatoes. Check. Parish Priest. Check. Hammer and tongs. Check. Death. Check. Tears. Check. Dipping knives. Check.

Sinead Harrington writes:

The sonnet When All The Others Were Away at Mass [from Clearances III – In Memoriam M.K.H., 1911-1984] by Seamus Heaney topped the RTÉ poll to identify the best-loved Irish poem of the past century. This iconic poem was revealed in front of a live audience during a special filming of The Works which will be aired this Friday 13 March at 8:30pm on RTÉ One. Seamus Heaney’s son Mick Heaney noted: “ Dad was never happier than when reading or writing poetry, so for his work to be part of a project that shows the sweep of Irish poetry and underlines its crucial part in our culture is a wonderful tribute to his life and work, for which our family are truly grateful.”


A Poem For Ireland (Facebook)


On Sunday night’s Countryfile on BBC One, Shauna Lowry met 94-year-old Castledawson blacksmith Barney Devlin who inspired Seamus Heaney’s poem ‘The Forge‘.

The BBC has been criticised for using subtitles.

Blatant condescension or an essential service?

YOU decide.

BBC slammed for using subtitles for Castledawson man in Countryfile programme (Mid-Ulster Mail)

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Scenes from the Seamus Heaney memorial concert this evening at National Concert Hall, Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin .

From top: Paul Simon; Simon with Niall Hannigan [Winner of the National Library of Ireland Poetry Aloud competition] and musician Donal Lunny; poet Michael Longley and all the acts performing this evening..

(Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland)


Via Dublin Airport:

The ‘Out of the Marvellous’ Heaney tapestry being hung in T2 last night for today’s unveiling by Paul Simon.”

Up close?


The tapestry was paid for by a group of the poet’s admirers, including Paul Simon and U2 lead singer, Bono. It was designed by Czech artist Peter Sís and features lines from Heaney’s poem Lightenings VIII.”

Couldn’t find an Irish artist to do that?


Seamus Heaney: Paul Simon takes part in Dublin tribute (BBC)