Heaney is laid to rest on home soil

Family flowers on the coffin of Nobel Laureate poet Seamus Heaney after his funeral at the Sacred Heart Church in Donnybrook in south Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday September 2, 2013. See PA story FUNERAL Heaney. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Family flowers on the coffin of Nobel Laureate poet Seamus Heaney after his funeral at the Sacred Heart Church in Donnybrook in south Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday September 2, 2013. See PA story FUNERAL Heaney. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

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Seamus Heaney returned home to his beloved County Derry last night and was laid to rest in the same graveyard where the little brother who inspired one of his most famous poems is also buried.

The 74 year old’s body yesterday made the long journey North from Dublin to Bellaghy in Co. Derry - an area that inspired much of his work.

The new grave at St Mary’s Parish Church is located just yards from that of his brother Christopher who was aged just three-and-a-half when he was killed in a road accident.

Earlier yesterday, family and friends of the writer were joined by hundreds of mourners at a church in south Dublin to pay their last respects to one of Ireland’s literary greats.

Heaney’s son, Michael, spoke at the end of the service and revealed that his father’s final words to his mother, Marie, were “don’t be afraid”.

Heaney has strong links with the city of Derry thanks to the years he spent as a student at St Columb’s College.