Late poet Seamus Heaney's final words revealed
Heaney's last words to his wife were "do not be afraid", one of his sons has revealed at his funeral.
Michael Heaney told hundreds of mourners at the Sacred Heart Church in Donnybrook, south Dublin his father's parting advice to his mother Marie.
"His last few words in a text message he wrote to my mother minutes before he passed away were in his beloved Latin and they read – 'noli timere' ('don't be afraid')," he said.
The Heaney family, including the couple's two other children Christopher and Catherine Ann, were joined by relatives and friends, contemporaries and dignitaries to pay last respects to Ireland's greatest poet since William Butler Yeats. The internationally acclaimed 74-year-old writer died unexpectedly in hospital on Friday after a short illness.
Chief celebrant of the Mass and family friend, Monsignor Brendan Devlin, said it was not his place to embark on an undue eulogy or praise but went on to describe Heaney as a brilliant literary critic and articulator of years of pain in Northern Ireland.
He summed up why the poet was held in such high regard by people from all walks of life.
"He could speak to the King of Sweden, an Oxford don or a south Derry neighbour with the directness of a common and shared humanity," Fr Devlin said.
He told the mourners that the island of Ireland feels the deprivation of the loss of Heaney.