A special event is being held to mark the 70th birthday of Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney this afternoon.

This afternoon RTÉ and the Irish Museum of Modern Art will host a celebration of Mr Heaney's birthday at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham.

Listen to special Heaney at 70 broadcasts live.

The celebration will be broadcast live to RTÉ radio listeners and will include the broadcast on RTÉ lyric FM of three new pieces of music, inspired by his poetry.

The pieces were commissioned by RTÉ Performing Groups from composers Rachel Holstead, Kevin O'Connell and Ian Wilson.

Mr Heaney himself will also make a speech to mark the occasion which will be carried live on a special edition of The Arts Show on Radio one.

Minister for Arts Sport and tourism Martin Cullen congratulated Mr Heaney and applauded his contribution to cultural life.

‘Seamus Heaney has made and continues to make an extraordinary contribution to our cultural life and has made us all extraordinarily proud of his wonderfully creative genius, which has been acknowledged around the globe,’ Minister Cullen said.