‘There is no better way to discover the “everyday” landscapes that inspired much of Heaney’s poetry than with Eugene Kielt’
Catherine Mack in The Guardian
The late Seamus Heaney, poet and Nobel Laureate, was regarded as one of the major poets of the twentieth century. One of the most easily recognised faces in Ireland during his lifetime, he was lauded throughout the world by critics and the public alike. Laurel Villa is located in what has become known as ‘Heaney Country’ and we are just 3 miles from his birthplace at Mossbawn. Much of his poetry draws its inpiration from this first world, those very special townlands and parishes around his birthplace Mossbawn near Castledawson. He is buried in Bellaghy just a ten minute drive away. The Seamus Heaney HomePlace centre opened in Bellaghy village in 2016 and a visit to its exhibition or attendance at one of its events will compliment perfectly a stay at Laurel Villa or Eugene’s 5 Star Tour of Heaney Country .
We were honoured to have been involved in promoting his work down through the years and to have known him during that time. He was to have opened the On Home Ground Poetry Festival at Laurel Villa on 20 September 2013. Sadly, he died in Dublin just three weeks before the start of the festival. In place of that opening event we organised a tribute to him instead, with as number of poets reading his words. It was a very powerful and fitting tribute to him.