Seamus Heaney, recognised by many as the best Irish poet since WB Yeats, has died aged 74. He had been a teacher before embarking on a career in poetry which led to him winning the Nobel prize for literature in 1995.
"The death has taken place of Seamus Heaney. The poet and Nobel Laureate died in hospital in Dublin this morning after a short illness," a statement on behalf of the family said.
The Nobel prize-winner was born in April 1939, the eldest of nine children, on a small farm called Mossbawn near Bellaghy in Co Derry, Northern Ireland, and his upbringing often played out in the poetry he wrote in later years.