Editorial: Celebrating famous Seamus
Dublin City will be paying tribute to one of its favourite adopted sons this evening, with a very special event in the National Concert Hall. Seamus Heaney may have been Derry-born and his poems deeply planted in the country's soil, but he lived with his family in Sandymount from 1972 until his death last August and was a familiar friendly sight on his regular walks around his neighbourhood.
Seamus, for he was never one for overly formal greetings, was very much a people's poet. His poems have a unique accessibility. His influence came to many through friendship and many of those motivated by him will gather tonight to remember their friend and leader, including poets Theo Dorgan, Michael Longley, Paula Meehan, Paul Muldoon and Seamus's long-term publisher Peter Fallon. President, and of course poet, Michael D Higgins will also be part of the gathering as well as actor Gabriel Byrne.
Music played a large part in Seamus's life and it will be well represented tonight with performances by Donal Lunny, Lisa Hannigan, Micheal O Suilleabhain, Zoe Conway, Paul Brady and the RTE Concert Orchestra. There will also be a special performance by his friend, uilleann piper Liam O'Flynn and by global superstar songsmith Paul Simon. It will be a night of celebration, with all of Seamus's family, his wife Marie and his three children Michael, Christopher and Catherine Ann, the guests of honour.