On Home Ground celebrated the late great Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney recently at Laurel Villa in Magherafelt. One of our Allingham Festival committee members went along ...

 A Ballyshannon man on sound!

A Ballyshannon man on sound!

 The unique festival site of Laurel Villa in Magherafelt

The unique festival site of Laurel Villa in Magherafelt

 Seamus Heaney's nephew, James Heaney on banjo supporting  Robyn Sheils .

Seamus Heaney's nephew, James Heaney on banjo supporting Robyn Sheils.

 Gary Lightbody playing a few Heaney inspired originals.

Gary Lightbody playing a few Heaney inspired originals.

A unique location and a very relaxed picnic atmosphere. There was a variety of acts, big and small and tasty treats to boot. Definitely worth a visit. One for next year’s calendar for sure.

The emphasis was on the culture and creative vibrancy of the local people and the countryside of “Seamus Heaney Country”.  We caught up with some internationally renowned writers, musicians, artists, literary organisations and publishers to pay special tribute to the poet and his work. We also recruited some visitors for this year's Allingham too of course.

Snow Patrol's front man, Gary Lightbody, paid his first public performance tribute to the man he described as making him want to be a writer. From being published as a poet at 15 to winning an Ivor Novello award & penning some of the biggest anthemic hits of our times, Gary places Seamus as a central force in his creative life. Writing in response to the news of Seamus' death, he wrote about an invisible tribe of people who act as creative touchstones. "People of profound light, love and kindness that simply maybe even without their knowledge make us and the world around them better. Stepehen Fry is one. Guy Garvey another. To seem them on the stage, screen or on the page makes us feel safer, happier, stronger, more centred and less confused by life and what the hell we're doing here. I would make Heaney chieftain of that 'invisible tribe.'" Gary was in conversation with the On Home Ground curator Marie Louise Muir.

 

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