- 02 Sep 13
U2 and their manager Paul McGuinness, Horslips’ Jim Lockhart and Barry Devlin and Paul Brady were among the musical contingent paying their respects this morning to Seamus Heaney at his funeral mass in Donnybrook.
The service was brought to a close by piper Liam O’Flynn’s playing of ‘Port na bPucai’.
Talking this morning on Pat Kenny’s first Newstalk show, Bono said: “I’m sure the whole country is mourning as well as his family. Incredible people. An extraordinary man. What a gift. And yet, it brought none of the bother that such a gift can bring; at least to my eyes it didn’t. [There was] none of the annoying arrogance, none of the creeping privilege that he speaks about in ‘From The Republic Of Conscience’, just elegance. He’s a quiet man that shuts the loudmouths up, isn’t he really?’”
Responding to Pat’s assertion that, “I always thought of him as a graceful man”, Bono added, “Grace is the best word, I could think… with a bit of mischief thrown in. Grace and mischief, because he could pull a few legs. There’s a wryness there that’s fantastic. He would drink with a slightly conspiratorial look in his eye. There’s comedy and that’s great and here’s this towering talent. I met him when I was 24 in Boston University. I went in and had the absolute madness and arrogance to read him some of my own work! And of course he was really encouraging but I look back at the work now and I go, ‘Oh my god… what was I thinking?’. A lesson in modesty, if you were interested in it.
“What Heaney did… he could take a kitchen table and turn it into storming the Bastille. I think the reason that he’s so well-read and loved everywhere is his love of every day detail of people’s lives and compromises people make for love and how huge a thing that is.”
In a moving address, his son Michael revealed that Seamus had been in contact with his wife Marie just minutes before he passed away.
“His last few words in a text message in his favourite Latin were ‘nolle timere’, ‘don’t be afraid’,” Michael said.
It was a gorgeous “good bye” to the Derryman that Dublin and the rest of the country adopted as their own.