Seamus Heaney, acclaimed by many as the best Irish poet since WB Yeats, has died aged 74.
Heaney was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995 “for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past”.
Over his long career he was awarded numerous prizes and received many honours for his work.
He recently suffered from ill health.
His 2010 poetry collection The Human Chain was written after he suffered a stroke and the central poem, Miracle, was directly inspired by his illness.
Heaney in 1970, two years before he gave up full-time academic work to become a freelance writer and poet
Recalling how he had been lifted up and down the stairs to his bedroom, the poet eulogised the biblical characters who carried a paralysed man to Jesus to be healed.
“Their shoulders numb, the ache and stoop deeplocked / In their backs, the stretcher handles / Slippery with sweat. And no let up.” More.