Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Family 'moved' by Heaney stamp

The granddaughters of the late poet Seamus Heaney with an enlarged commemorative stamp launched today. (Maxwell Photography/PA)

The family of the late poet Seamus Heaney said they have been immensely moved by the issuing of a special postage stamp marking a year since his death.

The commemorative 68c stamp brought out by the Irish Republic's mail service An Post features a black and white portrait of the Nobel laureate.

The picture was taken by the renowned Irish photographer John Minihan, who also captured the images of Samuel Beckett, Edna O'Brien, Andy Warhol and Lady Diana.

A specially commissioned envelope also on sale is inscribed with an extract of Heaney's 1969 poem Bogland.

Michael Heaney, Seamus's son, said it was a rare honour which commemorated his father's life.

"We are immensely moved that An Post has chosen to mark Dad's memory with the issue of this stamp," he said.

"The year since he died has been a sad time for our family, but this is not only a wonderful testament to his life and work, but also a reminder of the generosity and support people have shown since Dad's passing.

"We would like to express our deepest thanks and appreciation to everyone involved in bestowing this rare honour on the husband, father, grandfather and poet we miss so much."

Heaney, from near Castledawson, Co Derry, died on August 30 last year.

After publishing his debut Death Of A Naturalist in 1966, he went on to become one of the best known poets in the world, with acclaimed collections including North, Station Island, The Spirit Level and District And Circle.

He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995.

Both the stamps and envelopes can be viewed and purchased at all main post offices, at the GPO Stamp Shop in Dublin's O'Connell Street and online at irishstamps.ie.

They were designed by Dublin-based Vermillion Design.

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