Guildhall book of condolence for literary giant

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A book of condolence has been opened at Derry’s Guildhall for Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney.

Opening the book of condolence, Mayor Martin Reilly, described the 74 year-old as a “true cultural icon”.

“As we mourn the loss of one of the greatest poets the world has seen, a playwright, a lecturer and recipient of 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature, ambassador of the city, Seamus Heaney’s legacy as a true cultural icon will live on.”

He added: “His words spoke of love, memory, past and present, conflict, the world and it was his interpretation of English language that touched the hearts and minds of many. Seamus Heaney has been a great advocate of Ireland, Northern Ireland, the North West Region and of course the City of Culture. Only recently I had the privilege of seeing him perform at the ‘Poet and the Piper’ as part of the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann celebrations at the Millennium Forum, which was both a powerful and moving performance.

“On behalf of the city, I want to offer my deepest sympathy and condolences to the family and friends of Seamus at this time.”

The Mayor also pointed out that the death of the literary giant was on the very day that “a new generation begin their journey and their first day of a new year at St Columbs College”, where he was a pupil.