30th August, 2013 : New York

Seamus Heaney 1939 – 2013

Across the family of The Ireland Funds, there is great sadness at the news of the passing of Seamus Heaney.  We had the privilege of recognizing Seamus with our Literary Award in 1973.  He helped us select the subsequent honoree every year since.  On the 40th anniversary of the Award in 2012, and in the presence of his good friend and admirer, President Bill Clinton, we presented Seamus with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Over those four decades he made himself available at both major and intimate events to promote any number of Irish cultural causes.  He was a force in the world of philanthropy as well as poetry.  So many established and emerging Irish writers and artists are indebted to Seamus for his encouragement and example.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Seamus Heaney receiving The Ireland Funds Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012

President Bill Clinton and Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney at The Ireland Funds 2012 Conference in Cork at which Seamus Heaney received The Ireland Funds Lifetime Achievement Award.
Photo: Aengus McMahon

Connect Magazine

Coverage of Seamus Heaney in Connect magazine Fall Winter 2012

Download PDF

Media Coverage

Vice President Biden, The Ireland Funds lead U.S. reaction to Seamus Heaney’s death

Irish Central website


History says
‘Don’t hope
On this side of the grave’,
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up,
And hope and history rhyme.
So hope for a great sea-change
On the far side of revenge.
Believe that a further shore
Is reachable from here.
Believe in miracles
And cures and healing wells.

The Cure At Troy, Seamus Heaney 1939 – 2013

Seamus Heaney’s The Cure at Troy is based on Sophocles’ Philoctetes. President Bill Clinton used Heaney’s phrase about when ‘hope and history rhyme’ from The Cure At Troy in his 1995 speech in Derry. The Cure at Troy represents The Ireland Funds’ vision for a new Northern Ireland and progress towards a shared society.