Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness and Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín yesterday announced funding of £980,000 towards the construction of the Seamus Heaney Arts and Literary Centre in Bellaghy, Co. Derry.
Speaking at the announcement Mr. McGuinness said it was a “fitting way” to commemorate the Nobel Laureate.
“The new Seamus Heaney Arts and Literary Centre in Bellaghy is a fitting way to celebrate the contribution of a literary giant. Through this centre the work, writings and life of Seamus Heaney will continue to enrich all our lives and move us deeply.
“People will travel from near and far for this unique insight into the world of Seamus Heaney. Within the centre his first writing desk, books and manuscripts will be on display. To be able to see these items first hand offers a personal and powerful connection to Seamus Heaney which has only been made possible by the support and generosity of the Heaney family. Heaney’s work resonated with people across the globe and this centre will be a major tourism draw and an important cultural asset to the north of Ireland,” added Mr. McGuinness.
Following the tour of the site Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín said: “It is appropriate that the centre is to be located in Seamus Heaney’s beloved Bellaghy and I know it will be a lasting symbol in an area that has previously suffered from under investment.
“I am today pleased to commit almost £1million of funding for this magnificent project which honours a man who is undoubtedly amongst the greatest literary exponents ever to have come from these shores and who, like his fellow Nobel Laureates, Shaw, Yeats and Beckett, has done so much to ensure that the richness of Irish literature has received true recognition on the world stage.”