“I think this is a really sad day,” Brian Harten, Louth Local Authority Arts Officer, said on Friday last, when he paid tribute to our national bard, who left us to join the best poet of all.
It was a heartfelt statement from someone who has spent his whole professional life working in the arts.
“His poetry had a universality,” said Brian. “He came from the village of Bellaghy in Derry and his message reached out to all humanity. He was particulary moving when he wrote about family and friends.
“The poem Harvest Bow, about his father, is deeply moving.
“He wrote for academia and the everyday people.
“In Dundalk we had lines from his poem, Requiem for the Croppies, inscribed in stone at Mulholland Avenue to mark the 200th anniversary of the 1798 rebellion.
“I am so glad we have that detail in Dundalk,” said Brian.
Mr Harten also recalled the great reading given by Seamus Heaney in Dundalk, about ten years ago, when he was joined by Dundalk poets Vona Groake, Conor Callaghan and uilleann piper Liam O’Flynn, when hundreds turned up for the great occassion.
He also recalled the links between Seamus Heaney and Kavanagh whose Tarry Flynn was performed at the Town Hall just days before Kavanagh’s death.