30 August 2013: Arts Council expresses its regret at the passing of Seamus Heaney

Speaking today, Pat Moylan, Chairman of the Arts Council said, Seamus Heaney was a towering figure in the arts who will be mourned profoundly by people in Ireland and across the world.
"He was, undoubtedly, a poet of outstanding achievement and his contribution to literary and cultural life in Ireland has been, and will continue to be, immeasurable.
"His work, always intelligent, humane and beautiful, earned him devoted readers across the globe. Unstintingly generous, Heaney offered invaluable guidance and support to countless artists and writers, and remained a fervent advocate for the role of poetry and the arts in our society throughout his life.
His presence - on the printed page, at the countless readings and events he attended - will be deeply missed."
Ms Moylan said the Arts Council's celebration of its bursary award winners  on 12th September, which will be addressed by the Taoiseach and which Seamus Heaney was expected to attend, would now be dedicated to his memory.
Seamus Heaney served as a member of the Arts Council from 1973 to 1978. He was a member of Aosdána from its inception and was elected a Saoi of Aosdána, the highest honour for an Irish artist, in 1997.

Desert Rose, (oil on board) - Colin Middleton, 1975, Arts Council Virtual Gallery.
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Desert Rose, (oil on board) - Colin Middleton, 1975, Arts Council Virtual Gallery.

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