The younger brother of former Poet Laureate Seamus Heaney, and inspiration for much of his work, has died.
Hugh Heaney passed away peacefully today at his home in Bellaghy.
Tributes have been paid online to Hugh, who was in his seventies, with his ‘wicked sense of humour’ recalled.
He was a strong supporter of the Heaney HomePlace in Bellaghy, who led tributes this morning on social media.
“We’re extremely saddened today at the loss of a best friend and an unstinting supporter, Hugh Heaney,” they said.
“From the very first time the idea was floated to create a literary centre to celebrate Seamus Heaney, Hugh was 100% behind it.
“He did the first radio interview to talk about the plans; he helped cut the first sod on this site in December 2014.
“He was integral to the development of our exhibition; he regularly enjoyed performances in The Helicon and we will miss hearing his unique and honest take on our events.
“Hugh knew all our staff by name and was loved by them all, past and present, for his openness, his friendliness and, of course, his wicked sense of humour. We will miss him terribly.
“Our deepest condolences go to all of Hugh’s family and friends.”
The Estate of Seamus Heaney tweeted an extract from Seamus Heaney’s poem ‘Keeping Going’, inspired by Hugh.
”We are heartbroken at the passing of Hugh Heaney, the farmer at the heart of our family. Rest in peace,” they added.
A Rosary will be said this evening and tomorrow at 7.30pm and will be available to view on the parish webcam at St Mary’s Church Bellaghy.
Hugh’s funeral will take place on Saturday October 2 in the church at 11.00am. It will also be available to view on the parish webcam.
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