Seamus Heaney HomePlace – Life, Literature & Inspiration
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When an invite to the opening of Seamus Heaney HomePlace found a very welcome home in my email inbox, my RSVP was sent and plans put in place for a road-trip to Northern Ireland.
Unfortunately I couldn’t attend the official opening by the Heaney family on Thursday September 29th but I was more than delighted to help celebrate the opening weekend, along with Patrick and Smith on the blue skied Sunday of October 2nd.
Seamus Heaney HomePlace is a £4.25M purpose built arts and literary centre dedicated to the late and great poet, author and Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney (1939-2013).
Owned by Mid Ulster District Council, HomePlace can be found proudly in the village of Bellaghy in Magherafelt, Northern Ireland.
Bellaghy is the place where Seamus Heaney was born (he was born at Mossbawn on April 13th 1939, it’s near the village of Bellaghy) and raised, and also the place he lies to rest. As you drive through the countryside to reach it, you can understand why Seamus loved this land so dearly, and how it inspired so much of his poetic works.
When you enter HomePlace you are greeted, on the left, by quotes from ‘Digging’ from the first of Seamus Heaney’s major works ‘Death of a Naturalist’ (1966). Like an ode to his roots but also to himself, it prepares you for the Man & Boy Exhibition that awaits you straight ahead.
To the right of the entrance is a small but perfectly formed Gift Shop where you can shop the works of local artists and designers, as well as the works of the main man himself.
In the middle of the open planned and gloriously spacious foyer, you will find the reception desk where you can purchase your ticket – Adult £7, Child £4.50, Under 7’s are FREE, Concession £4.50 and Family £19.
Under the management of Seamus Heaney’s nephew, Brian McCormick, HomePlace is aiming for 35,000 visitors each year, those whom adore Seamus Heaney’s works and those who wish to learn more.
Man & Boy – two beautiful and honest portraits.
Acknowledgements and thanks are given to the Heaney family, Pat Brennan, Michael Kinsella, Faber & Faber and RTÉ Archives for their help and support in creating an exhibition that guides you through the love, laughter, life and death of those who inspired Seamus Heaney from his journey of boy to the man he became.