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seeing things

Seamus Heaney letters, diaries and manuscripts on display to the public from tomorrow

Tickets are free – but booking is advised for the next few days due to high demand.

NO FEE NLI HEANEY 1 Michael D Higgins and Sabina Higgins at yesterday's launch. Marc O'Sullivan Marc O'Sullivan

A NEW EXHIBITION that delves into the life and work of Seamus Heaney was launched yesterday by President Michael D Higgins alongside members of the late poet’s family.

Original manuscripts, personal items, letters, diaries, photographs, artworks and unpublished works from the Nobel Prize winner will be on display to the public from tomorrow at the new Bank of Ireland Cultural and Heritage Centre on Dublin’s College Green.

The National Library of Ireland exhibition will run for three years.

President Higgins paid tribute to Heaney’s “genius” and said he felt privileged to launch the display.

Heaney’s work, he said, “urges us to hear the music that we never would have known to listen for”.

Heaney, who died in 2013, donated his work to the National Library of Ireland in 2011.

The late poet’s wife, Marie, who also spoke at the launch, said the exhibition “mirrors Seamus’s own life as it rippled outwards from the Derry landscape of his childhood to the outer world”.

Director of the National Library of Ireland Dr Sandra Collins said the exhibition allows people to get to know Heaney as ”the public figure, the critic, the writer, the essayist, (his) literary and academic side, as well as Heaney the man, a family member and what that means from his roots in Derry”.

The exhibition is divided into five sections and includes audio and video presentations.

Planning your visit

The exhibition will run from tomorrow and will be open Monday-Saturday from 10am to 4pm.

Tickets are free, but pre-booking is advised for the next few days due to high demand.

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