Irish Poet Seamus Heaney dies aged 74

The man viewed by many as the country's most talented poet since Yeats was known to be suffering from ill health

Poet Seamus Heaney has passed away at the age of 74. 


Viewed by many as the best Irish poet since WB Yeats, Heaney had enjoyed a distinguished career, winning the Nobel prize for literature in 1995. 

Born in Toomebridge, Northern Ireland, Heaney started out as a teacher before becoming a full time poet and is well known for his translation of Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf. He had been awarded numerous prizes and honours for his work, including the T.S. Eliot Prize and two Whitbread Prizes and was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1991.

Heaney was professor of poetry at both Harvard and Oxford and donated a collection of his literary papers to the National Library of Ireland in 2011 spanning his entire career. 

Heaney suffered a stroke in August 2006 but went on to publish his twelfth and final collection, Human Chain, in 2010 for which he won the £10,000 Forward Prize after three previous nominations. He was known to have experienced ill health in recent months but made an appearance at the opening of The International Society of Anglo-Saxonists conference in Dublin just two days ago.