Seamus Heaney's 'When All the Others were Away at Mass' has been chosen as Ireland's best-loved poem of the last one hundred years.

An independent jury had compiled a shortlist of ten poems chosen from public nominations last year.  

RTÉ then asked the public to vote for their favourite.

The jury was chaired by broadcaster John Kelly, and includes singer Damien Dempsey, former newsreader Anne Doyle, and Catriona Crowe from the National Archives of Ireland.

This poem is taken from Clearences, a sonnet sequence which he published in 1987 on his mother’s death.

When all the others were away at Mass 

In Memoriam M.K.H., 1911-1984

When all the others were away at Mass
I was all hers as we peeled potatoes.
They broke the silence, let fall one by one
Like solder weeping off the soldering iron:
Cold comforts set between us, things to share
Gleaming in a bucket of clean water.
And again let fall. Little pleasant splashes
From each other’s work would bring us to our senses.
So while the parish priest at her bedside
Went hammer and tongs at the prayers for the dying
And some were responding and some crying
I remembered her head bent towards my head,
Her breath in mine, our fluent dipping knives –
Never closer the whole rest of our lives.