Seamus Heaney passed away on August 30, 2013, at Dublin's Blackrock Clinic, following a brief illness. While the loss remains incalculable, his legacy shines brighter than ever.
Seamus Heaney's last words 'Noli timere' – 'Don't be afraid.' Painted this for Good people in Hard times. pic.twitter.com/ZslV5BvpOd— Maser (@MaserArt) December 4, 2013
On the occaion of what would have been his 80th birthday, we present selections from the wealth of Heaney-related material in the RTÉ Archives.
In 2009, RTÉ celebrated his 70th birthday with a series of tributes - here he is giving a memorable speech at a live event in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham.
Here he is in 1987, talking to Bookside about his favourite book, Hope Against Hope by Nadezhda Mandelstam:
Below, he offers a moving reminiscence of the Derry home he grew up in, and of his mother.
Watch the RTÉ News announcement of his passing, in 2013, featuring some choice words from the great man himself:
Listen: Seamus Heaney: A Celebration was recorded live at the NCH in association with One City: One Book, Poetry Ireland, RTÉ Radio 1 and The RTÉ Concert Orchestra with conductor David Brophy. Contributors include Paul Muldoon, Lisa Hannigan, Paula Meehan, Gabriel Byrne, Peter Fallon, Michael Longley, and President Michael D Higgins.
Finally, President Michael D. Higgins, former US President Bill Clinton and a host of his poetry comrades pay a warm tribute to Seamus Heaney:
You can see RTÉ Archives special tribute to Seamus Heaney here.