All parties pay their respects to Heaney

House gives thanks for ‘gift of him in our national life’

There were tributes from all sides of the House to the late Seamus Heaney.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said so much had been written about the Nobel laureate in the past 26 days: oceans, continents of words.

"In the media, there was the particular eloquence of Theo Dorgan, Fintan O'Toole and Andrew O'Hagan," he said.

"In the church, at his Requiem Mass, we held our breath, the building itself seeming to catch itself and to listen, as Paul Muldoon shared his impeccable and devastating observations on heartbreak, general and particular, on the matter of Seamus Heaney's beauty, on the matter of his being kind and decent, and the greater business of his being the first and eternal champion of his daughter, Catherine Ann. ''


Mr Kenny said the House gave "thanks joyously, graciously and humbly for the gift of him in our national life''.

Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn said Heaney was a great poet and quoted From the Republic of Conscience. He said Heaney had written it at the request of Mary Lawlor of Amnesty International Ireland, to mark international human rights day.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said Heaney's passing was spoken about all over the world.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said Heaney was modest, approachable, humble, with a great sense of humour. He said that until his death, Heaney was the world's greatest living poet.

Michael O'Regan

Michael O'Regan

Michael O’Regan is a former parliamentary correspondent of The Irish Times