The removal service for the poet Seamus Heaney has taken place at the Church of the Sacred Heart, Donnybrook in Dublin.

His family were joined by hundreds of mourners for a blessing by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin who offered prayers for the poet who died last week aged 74, and for his wife Marie and adult children Michael, Christopher and Catherine Ann.

Archbishop Martin said the poet was a man of kindness and humility, a seeker of what is deepest in humanity.

A cross section of mourners representing Irish society from Government to the world of literature attended the removal service.

President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Enda Kenny will join his family tomorrow for the funeral mass at 11.30am, ahead of Mr Heaney's burial in his native Bellaghy, Co Derry.

RTÉ will broadcast the service live from 11am on RTÉ One television, on Radio One and on News Now. Television and radio coverage will also be streamed live on RTÉ.ie and will be available to audiences worldwide.

A book of condolence is to be opened at Queens University in Belfast tomorrow morning at the visitor centre in the main Lanyon Building in the university.