Seamus Heaney’s three granddaughters have taken part in a tree planting ceremony ensuring his “legacy continues” as a new education programme is launched at the literary centre which bears his name.
Aibhín, Síofra and Anna Rose travelled to Seamus Heaney HomePlace in Bellaghy to plant birch, ash and oak trees in the grounds of the building, which is home to an interactive exhibition, full of personal stories, photographs and artefacts, as well as an events space for readings, poetry, talks, music and drama.
The education programme will use Heaney’s poetry as a catalyst to explore science, living history and creative writing.
Seamus Heaney wrote poems for each of his grandchildren, ‘Route 110’ for Anna Rose, ‘In Time’ for Síofra, his last published poem, and ‘A Kite for Aibhín’, which will be the first poem schools will explore.
The girls’ presence at the launch is both meaningful and symbolic according to Deputy Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Sharon McAleer:
“Much of Seamus Heaney’s poetry was inspired by nature and the landscape, and so celebrating that relationship with the outdoors with his granddaughters is a perfect way to launch the new education programme for Key Stage 2.
“The programme will engage a whole new generation in the poetry of one of our greatest writers, helping to ensure his legacy continues.
“We are extremely thankful and grateful to the Heaney family for once again going out of their way to come here today, illustrating their commitment to Seamus Heaney HomePlace which has been unwavering from the beginning.”
Michael Heaney added:
“It has been an honour for us that Anna Rose, Aibhín and Síofra were invited to plant these three trees to mark the launch of HomePlace’s Key Stage 2 educational programme.
“As an educator and a proud grandfather, my father would have been delighted to see his granddaughters marking this occasion and maintaining the family connection with Bellaghy down the generations”.
Pupils from the six local primary schools in the area - St. Mary’s P.S., Bellaghy P.S., St. John Bosco P.S., Anahorish P.S., New Row P.S. and Castledawson P.S. - also took part in the short ceremony by planting snowdrop bulbs around the base of each of the tress.
The next theme the education programme will explore will be Churning Day and events taking place include World Book Day, World Poetry Day and Literacy Legacy Week.
For more information on the Key Stage 2 Education Programme at Seamus Heaney HomePlace contact Sheila Fullerton, Education Officer on 028 7938 7444 or by email at [email protected].