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Seamus Heaney, A Sense of Ireland

Seamus Heaney on how writers help give a nation its sense of self

News 1980 6 mins

From the collection of:

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A Sense of Ireland was a major festival of Irish culture held in London in 1980. Amongst those appearing in its inaugural year was the poet Seamus Heaney. He recites his translation of the traditional poem 'Sweeney Praises The Trees'. Interviewed by Gloria Hunniford he considers the role of the writer in shaping national identity and ponders how the English public will respond to this exhibition of Irish culture.

This material is courtesy of the UTV archive. Seamus Heaney is widely recognised as one of the foremost poets of the twentieth century. In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.