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Portraits of literary greats Seamus Heaney and CS Lewis unveiled at Stormont

Published 24/11/2015

Marie Heaney with a portrait of her husband and poet Seamus Heaney as portraits of Heaney and author CS Lewis by artist Ross Wilson are unveiled in the Great Hall at Parliament Buildings, Belfast. PA
Marie Heaney with a portrait of her husband and poet Seamus Heaney as portraits of Heaney and author CS Lewis by artist Ross Wilson are unveiled in the Great Hall at Parliament Buildings, Belfast. PA
Portraits of Seamus Heaney and CS Lewis by artist Ross Wilson are unveiled in the Great Hall at Parliament Buildings, Belfast

New portraits of two of Northern Ireland's literary greats have been hung in the home of the Stormont Assembly.

The striking images of Nobel laureate poet Seamus Heaney and Chronicles Of Narnia creator CS Lewis were painted by local artist Ross Wilson.

Heaney's widow Marie and one of Lewis's students at Cambridge University, the Rev Roy Taylor, unveiled the works at a ceremony in the Great Hall of Parliament Buildings.

Each bears a famous quotation from the respective writers - the words chosen having particular relevance to the Northern Ireland peace process.

Heaney's quote is "Believe that a further shore is reachable from here" while Lewis's is "There are far better things ahead than any we can leave behind".

Mrs Heaney described the portrait of her late husband as "stunning".

"This is the administrative capital of Northern Ireland, Seamus was a northerner, I am a northerner and I am very glad that he is being honoured here at Stormont, very glad," she said.

"I think it's a wonderful portrait - it shows a great deal of the benign. Seamus was a very benign person and this portrait shows that benign side to him and I am very glad of that."

In regard to the words below Heaney's picture, she added: "It's extremely well chosen and I think everybody should take them on board."

Mr Taylor, from Millisle, Co Down, said it was an honour to unveil the portrait of his famous lecturer.

The Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Mitchell McLaughlin MLA, today unveiled portraits of two of Northern Ireland's most famous literary sons, Seamus Heaney and CS Lewis. Pictured from left are deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Mrs Marie Heaney, Speaker McLaughlin, Rev Roy Taylor and First Minister Peter Robinson. Photo: William Cherry/Presseye
The Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Mitchell McLaughlin MLA, today unveiled portraits of two of Northern Ireland's most famous literary sons, Seamus Heaney and CS Lewis. Pictured from left are deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Mrs Marie Heaney, Speaker McLaughlin, Rev Roy Taylor and First Minister Peter Robinson. Photo: William Cherry/Presseye
A portrait of Seamus Heaney is hung as portraits of the poet Seamus Heaney and author CS Lewis by artist Ross Wilson were unveiled in the Great Hall at Parliament Buildings, Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday November 24. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
A portrait of CS Lewis is prepared for hanging as portraits of famous Northern Ireland men poet Seamus Heaney and the author by artist Ross Wilson were unveiled in the Great Hall at Parliament Buildings, Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday November 24. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Hugh Heaney, brother of poet Seamus Heaney, along with Martin McGuinness (left) and Peter Robinson, as portaits of Heaney and author CS Lewis by artist Ross Wilson are unveiled in the Great Hall at Parliament Buildings, Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday November 24. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Portraits of famous Northern Ireland men poet Seamus Heaney (left) and author CS Lewis by artist Ross Wison hang in Parliament Buildings, Belfast, following their unveiling today. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday November 24. See PA story ULSTER Portrait. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Pacemaker Press Belfast 24-11-2015: Relation and friends of Seamus Heaney and CS Lewis were at the Great Hall at Parliament Buildings in Belfast as portraits of the famous Northern Ireland men were unveiled by Seamus Heaney wife Marie and Rev Roy Taylor. Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness pictured at the event with Seamus Heaney's brother Hugh. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 24-11-2015: Relation and friends of Seamus Heaney and CS Lewis were at the Great Hall at Parliament Buildings in Belfast as portraits of the famous Northern Ireland men were unveiled by Seamus Heaney wife Marie and Rev Roy Taylor. The portraits were placed in Parliament Buildings, Stormont after the event. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 24-11-2015: Relation and friends of Seamus Heaney and CS Lewis were at the Great Hall at Parliament Buildings in Belfast as portraits of the famous Northern Ireland men were unveiled by Seamus Heaney wife Marie and Rev Roy Taylor. The portraits were placed in Parliament Buildings, Stormont after the event. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

"He was a very good teacher and very caring for his students," he said.

"He always came in 10 minutes after the o'clock and left 10 minutes before. He said the seats were too hard for his students to sit in for an hour, so he was concerned about our needs. But in those 40 minutes we probably got more than we would have got in two hours with anybody else, he taught so well."

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