The funeral of Irish poet Eavan Boland has taken place in Dublin. 

The 75-year-old, who was one of the most prominent voices in Irish literature, died on Monday following a stroke.

In recent years, she divided her time between Ireland the US, and was Professor of English and director of the creative writing programme at Stanford University.

In keeping with Government advice regarding public gatherings during the Covid-19 pandemic, a private funeral was held in the Holy Cross Church in Dundrum. 

A webcam broadcast the service online. 

The chief celebrant, Father John Bracken, welcomed her husband Kevin, daughters Sarah and Eavan, and acknowledged how heartbroken they are by her unexpected death.

In his eulogy, he said: "So many people would want to be here to offer their sympathy."

He said while he did not know the late poet personally, he had heard in recent days from her daughter Sarah of the love "your mum and dad had" and that last year they had celebrated 50 years of marriage. 

Fr Bracken spoke of her energy, her warmth and her generosity, especially to young writers.  

He also referred to her love of technology and the delight her grandchildren brought her.

He referred to the many tributes people have paid, and that he was drawn to one in particular from President Michael D Higgins, who described her as "one of the pre-eminent voices in Irish literature".

He quoted President Higgins, saying: "Through her poetry, she displayed an extraordinary ability to invoke Irish landscapes, myths and everyday experiences." 

Fr Bracken said it was clear from all the tributes that her words touched the lives of many people.

Both of her daughters spoke about their mother during her funeral service.

Sarah said while she has thought about all her mother's achievements and the people she has inspired, she thinks mostly of what an amazing mother and grandmother she was. 

"She celebrated everything in our lives. She celebrated her children in a way which I can't describe," she said.

Sarah said there was one of her mother's poems that comes to mind over and over again since her death.

"And Soul, I have taken such comfort in it," she said. "She wrote it about her own mother's death. I am going to try and read it. And Soul. My mother died one summer. The wettest in the record of the state..."

Her daughter Eavan also spoke about her mother, first describing how her sudden death has left them all heartbroken. 

She said they have taken some solace from the wonderful life their mother led and the monumental legacy she leaves. 

Eavan also referred to how one person described her mother as someone who "didn't just open doors, she blew them off the hinges". 

She described her mother as her best friend and said it is difficult to know what they will do without her.

"She would want us to be happy and we will carry on her legacy for her," she said.

Eavan also read one of her mother's poems, A Woman Painted on a Leaf.

It is understood a memorial and celebration of Ms Boland's life will take place at a later date. 

Gifts were brought to the altar during the funeral mass to represent parts of Eavan's life, with Fr Bracken explaining their significance.

"An iPad to represent her love of technology. Toys to represent how she adored her grandchilden and the magic she had with each one of them, and jewellery to represent her love of antiques and her beautiful jewellery collection."


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