Eastwood withdraws name from DUP Seamus Heaney tribute motion that references flag protests

Colum Eastwood has withdrawn his signature from a motion by Gregory Campbell that pays tribute to the late Seamus Heaney before ending with reference to a 2013 interview in which the Nobel Laureate was quoted as saying ‘there’s never going to be a united Ireland’.
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The Early Day Motion was tabled by DUP MP Gregory Campbell and is being sponsored by his party colleagues Paul Girvan and Jim Shannon, the Conservative MP Mike Penning and the Independent Scott Benton.

Foyle MP Colum Eastwood had signed the motion, but has withdrawn his support.

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The motion starts with a tribute to the St. Columb’s College-educated Nobel Laureate but ends with political commentary relating to the loyalist flag protests of a decade ago.

The late Seamus HeaneyThe late Seamus Heaney
The late Seamus Heaney

It states: “That this House notes the recent tenth anniversary of the passing of Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney, whose poetry and verse have been read by millions; and acknowledges his Bellaghy roots in County Londonderry and his Irish Nationalist background, epitomised by a well-known quote from 1983 about not raising a glass to the Queen, followed in later years by another quote during a dispute about the flying of the Union Flag, where he admirably and accurately said, sure there’s never going to be a united Ireland, so why don’t you let them fly the flag.”

Mr. Heaney was 74 years-old when he died on August 30, 2013.

In 1995 he won the Nobel Prize for Literature ‘for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past’.