RTÉ Radio pays tribute to Seamus Heaney

Noel Curran, Director-General of RTÉ, today paid tribute to Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney and outlined plans for tribute coverage.

RTÉ lyric fm leads the way with special programmes, starting with Seamus Heaney: The Real and the Imaginary, a documentary featuring Seamus Heaney’s own statements on the relationship between poetry and reality between 6.00pm – 6.30pm in Liz Nolan’s Classic Drive.

There will also be an extended Arena on RTÉ Radio 1, starting at 7pm with a specially selected panel of guests.

The Marian Finucane Show on RTÉ Radio 1 tomorrow morning will feature an excerpt of an interview Marian did with Seamus Heaney and there will be a feature about Seamus Heaney in Sunday morning’s programme.

On Sunday morning there will also be the first of a two-part obituary programme compiled by broadcaster and historian John Bowman.

Arts Tonight on Monday at 10pm there will be a repeat of a public interview between Seamus Heaney and Dennis O’Driscoll on the occasion of the publication of O’Driscoll’s biography of Seamus Heaney, Stepping Stones, on 13th April 2009, presented by Vincent Woods.

On the day of Seamus Heaney’s funeral, RTÉ Radio 1 Extra will carry a continuous broadcast of the RTÉ recording of the Collected Poems.

The new Today with Sean O’Rourke show will also provide full coverage of Seamus Heaney’s funeral.

Speaking today Mr Curran said: “It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney. An artist of immense standing both at home and abroad, Seamus Heaney was not only among the most lauded of writers, he was also among the most read.

“His achievements as a poet, playwright, critic and teacher, awarded the TS Eliot, Whitbread and Nobel prizes amongst others, speak for themselves. Since the publication in 1965 of the collection Death of a Naturalist, Seamus Heaney shone a light into and onto Ireland and, in a particular way, Irish rural life, charting also our intimate engagements as parents, children, lovers and friends, with wisdom, humour and astuteness.

“RTÉ’s own long-standing relationship with Seamus Heaney was one we valued hugely, including the privilege of joining with the national and international celebrations of his seventieth birthday in 2009. His words live now, and will endure, in all our memories. Our most sincere condolences to his wife Marie, and his children Michael, Christopher and Catherine-Ann.”

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