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Irish poet Seamus Heaney laid to rest in hometown graveyard

Sept. 3, 2013 at 12:05 AM   |   Comments

BELLAGHY, Northern Ireland, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney was laid to rest Monday in the village in Northern Ireland where he was born.

Hundreds of people attended a Roman Catholic burial service in the Bellaghy graveyard where seven members of his family already lie, The Irish Times reported.

"May the green sods of Bellaghy rest gently upon him," said the Rev. Andrew Dolan of St. Mary's Church.

The cortege escorting Heaney's body arrived at about 5 p.m. from Dublin, the capital of the Irish Republic, where he lived for much of his adult life. A bagpiper played as the procession moved through the village.

Dolan said Heaney left Bellaghy but never abandoned the village, which now has a population of just over 1,000. The village, largely Catholic, lost two of its own in the 1981 hunger strike by republican prisoners.

"When Bellaghy had bad days Seamus Heaney was always good news," Dolan said.

Heaney died Friday at 74. In 1995, he became the fourth Irish writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, joining William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett.

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